Local institutions' top pick was largest-cap Samsung Electronics Co. between July 24 and Friday, with their net buying of the tech giant reaching 1.35 trillion won ($1.19 billion), according to the data from the Korea Exchange.
Institutions also purchased a net 551.5 billion won worth of chip giant SK hynix Inc. and 464.1 billion won of shares in home appliance titan LG Electronics Inc.
July 24 was the day when the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index touched an all-time high of 2,451.53, bolstered by massive foreign buying. Since then, the market has been undergoing a period of correction.
Institutions' net buying of the three tech companies accounted for nearly half of their total net purchase of main market stocks worth 5.1 trillion won during the period.
In contrast, foreign investors dumped Samsung Electronics, SK hynix and three other major tech stocks worth a combined 3.9 trillion won over the cited period. The figure came to 85 percent of their cumulative net selling on the main market during the period.
Market watchers said tech shares had fared relatively well during the market correction period as institutions' brisk buying more than offset foreigners' heavy selling.
The KOSPI decreased 2.67 percent over the cited period, while Samsung Electronics dropped 1.33 percent. But SK hynix climbed 8.43 percent and LG Electronics leaped 31.23 percent.
"Tech stocks, which had been the main driver of a bull run earlier this year, performed better than expected during the correction period on the back of institutional buying," said Kim Byung-yeon, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities Co.
"Information and technology companies are expected to play a leading role in the local stock market for the time being among escalating expectations for their third-quarter earnings, which were previously forecast to be poorer than the previous quarter." (Yonhap)