The Korea Herald


Retail investors’ net buying of Kospi stocks hits record high

Shares of Samsung, Hyundai Motor spike amid analysts’ comments on ‘panic buying’

By Jie Ye-eun

Published : Jan. 11, 2021 - 14:59

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Electronic boards at Hana Bank’s dealing room in Seoul show the benchmark Kospi closed lower at 3,148.45 points Monday. (Yonhap) Electronic boards at Hana Bank’s dealing room in Seoul show the benchmark Kospi closed lower at 3,148.45 points Monday. (Yonhap)
Retail investors turned to strong net buyers, loading up on over 4.47 trillion won ($4.08 billion) worth of shares on South Korea’s benchmark Kospi market Monday, double the previous record.

The previous record was set on Nov. 30 last year, when they net purchased some 2.22 trillion won.

Amid growing expectations of Samsung Electronics and Hyundai Motor’s partnerships with US tech giants, small domestic investors went on a speculative binge, gobbling up shares in the market heavyweights.

After starting off strong, Kospi once stretched to as high as 3,266.23 in the early morning trade, crossing the 3,200-point mark for the first time. But it undid the earlier gains to close at 3,148.45, down 3.73 points or 0.12 percent, from the previous session’s close as both foreign and institutional investors’ combined net sales marked over 4.45 trillion won.

Following the news reports on US semiconductor giant Intel’s talks with Samsung and its rival Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing to outsource some of its best chips, shares in the market bellwether surged 9.01 percent to hit its 52-week high of 96,800 won in the early morning session, before softening to end trading at 91,000 won.

After spiking 17.48 percent, Hyundai Motor also set its fresh 52-week high of 289,000 won, posting double-digit surges for two consecutive sessions. As its market capitalization increased to over 57.15 trillion won, the automaker’s ranking climbed to No. 5 on the main bourse, beating Samsung Biologics. The stock reached 267,500 won at the closing bell.

Hyundai’s continuous stellar advances resulted from more detailed reports on US tech giant Apple’s plan to sign a partnership deal with the nation’s largest carmaker to make autonomous electric cars. Hyundai Mobis and Kia Motors’ stocks were at one point up 12.66 percent and 9.81 percent, respectively, during intraday trading.

“In the wake of a series of ‘big news’ on Samsung and Hyundai Motor, the large-cap stocks have overshot in the short term,” said Jeong Myung-ji, an analyst at Samsung Securities. “Many retail investors had probably already purchased the top-cap stocks but as new investors went on panic buying after hearing more news over the weekend, demand (for stock buying) suddenly surged.”

Retail investors extended buying in the tech-heavy Kosdaq market for the eighth consecutive session. With their net purchases, the index began slightly higher at 988.38 but soon moved downward on selling by institutional investors. Foreigners joined in the buying but it fell 11.16 points, or 1.13 percent from the previous session’s close, to 976.63 points.

By Jie Ye-eun (