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Kospi logs record rise in first trading week of 2021

Combined market cap of Samsung, SK Group surpasses W1,000tr for first time

An electronic signboard at the dealing room of KB Kookmin Bank in Seoul shows the benchmark Kospi closed at its all-time high of 3,152.18 on Friday. (Yonhap)
An electronic signboard at the dealing room of KB Kookmin Bank in Seoul shows the benchmark Kospi closed at its all-time high of 3,152.18 on Friday. (Yonhap)
South Korea’s main bourse Kospi posted its strongest rise in the first trading week of this year in more than a decade, according to data compiled by the Korea Exchange on Sunday.

The Kospi closed at 3,152.18 points Friday, up 278.71 points or 9.7 percent. It was the largest weekly increase since the last trading week of October 2008, when the index rose 174.31 points or 18.57 percent.

Small domestic investors, and foreign and institutional investors rotated to lead the market and took the Kospi above 3,000 points for the first time. Their average daily trading volume on the Kospi was about 30 trillion won ($27.45 billion) in the cited period, while Friday’s trading volume came to an all-time high of nearly 41 trillion won.

In the wake of the news reports on Hyundai Motor in talks with Apple to make Apple Car and the Morgan Stanley Capital International’s deletion of Chinese three biggest telecommunication firms from global benchmarks, investors scooped up more shares of the nation’s top four conglomerates -- Samsung, SK, LG and Hyundai Motor Group -- the data showed.

As of Friday, the combined market capitalization of Samsung and SK’s listed subsidiaries crossed the 1,000 trillion won-mark for the first time, as both telecom-to-chemicals conglomerates’ market valuation surpassed 800 trillion won and 200 trillion won, respectively. It accounted for around 46.6 percent of the entire Kospi by value.

The market cap of Samsung’s 23 listed stocks marked 811.16 trillion won, soaring over 100 trillion won within nine trading sessions. Led by chipmaking arm SK hynix’s valuation growth, the group’s market cap of 23 listed subsidiaries recorded 200.4 trillion won, on the same day. LG’s 18 listed subsidiaries came next with 165.49 trillion won, followed by Hyundai Motor’s 17 listed stocks with 148.99 trillion won.

Retail investors flocked to purchase market kingpin Samsung Electronics’ shares amid a rosy outlook for semiconductor industry. During the first trading week of this year, they net purchased some 2.05 trillion won of the blue chip stocks, while foreign and institutional investors sold a net 989.57 billion won and 1.16 trillion won.

Followed by the recent shift in trading trend, retail investors’ stock ownership of Samsung shares exceeded institutional investors’ ownership for the first time, according to industry sources.

Compared to stockholders’ list of Samsung as of end-2019, estimates of small investors and institutions’ ownership on Friday stood at 7 percent and 6.8 percent, rising 3.4 percentage points and falling 1.9 percentage points, respectively. In the meantime, foreign ownership was estimated to log 54.3 percent, down 1.6 percentage points, in the cited period.

“Based on Samsung Electronics’ high portion on Kospi-listed constituents, expectations of chip industry recovery and the settled upward movement of the memory chipmaker have raised retail investors’ preferences. Their net purchases are likely to continue for a while,” said Lee Jae-sun, an analyst at Hana Financial Investment.

By Jie Ye-eun (yeeun@heraldcorp.com)
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