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KOSPI-KOSDAQ gap widens amid bullish mood for big caps

The market capitalization gap between South Korea's two stock trade boards -- KOSPI and KOSDAQ -- has continued to grow recently as institutional investors have increasingly favored the main market over the secondary one, data showed Friday.

Many local retail investors, or individuals, called "ants" here, have been sidelined when it comes to profits amid the polarization.


According to the Korea Exchange, which operates the bourse in South Korea, the total market cap of firms listed on the major KOSPI market came to 1,391.6 trillion won ($1,230 billion) as of Thursday.

The benchmark KOSPI closed at 2,150.08 the day, breaking the 2,150-point-level for the first time in two years.

In contrast, the key index of the tech-heavy KOSDAQ stayed just above 600 points.

The aggregate market cap of KOSDAQ-listed companies stood at 198.4 trillion won on Thursday, shrinking from 216 trillion won posted in August last year.

The market cap gap between KOSPI and KOSDAQ is the biggest ever tallied.

The development is mainly attributable to a recent trend of foreigners and institutional traders increasing their investment in KOSPI-listed firms including Samsung Electronics Co. and SK hynix Co.

Samsung's market cap is close to 25 percent of the total in the KOSPI. Its share price hit 2,092,000 won on Thursday.

The polarization is expected to get more pronounced in the coming months.

"If the US base interest rate rises for the time being, chances are high that South Korea's stock prices will remain trending upward," Kim Hyong-ryul, a Kyobo Securities analyst, said. (Yonhap)