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NPS logs modest returns from stocks on Samsung Electronics

South Korea's state pension operator has registered modest returns from investments in large-cap stocks this year on a surge in Samsung Electronics Co., despite decreased prices in many big-exposure issues, a market tracker said Friday.

The value of 281 stocks, of which the National Pension Service (NPS) own 5 percent or more, came to 91.0 trillion won ($78.3 billion) as of Thursday, up from 84.7 trillion won at the end of last year, according to FnGuide.

Of the total, 183 issues, or 65 percent, saw their prices drop over the cited period, with 97 stocks enjoying gains and one remaining unchanged.

Despite weaker prices in the bulk of NPS-held stocks, the total value increased thanks mainly to the jump in the price of top-cap Samsung Electronics, which has recently renewed new highs for a session running. Samsung Electronics soared 1.02 percent to 1.79 million won on Thursday, setting a new record high.

As of Thursday, the NPS had an 8.38 stake in the tech behemoth, which was worth 21.2 trillion won, up 6.2 trillion won from the end of 2015.

The state pension operator, however, suffered big setbacks in investments in other big-cap stocks. Prices of Hanmi Pharmaceutical Co. tumbled 58 percent over the cited period, with Lotte Chilsung Beverage Co. and Kia Motors Corp. sinking 32 percent and 26 percent each.

The NPS is the world's third largest pension operator with assets of 520 trillion won under its management. As of end-September this year, the total amount of shares that the NPS holds in listed companies came to 100.1 trillion won. (Yonhap)