The Korea Herald


Foreigners’ net buying of Samsung hits new high in 2023

By Im Eun-byel

Published : Jan. 1, 2024 - 15:58

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Monitor at the Korea Exchange shows Samsung Electronic shares closing at 78,000 won on Thursday. (Yonhap) Monitor at the Korea Exchange shows Samsung Electronic shares closing at 78,000 won on Thursday. (Yonhap)

Foreign investors snapped up investments in Samsung Electronics last year, net buying more than 16 trillion won ($12.31 billion) worth of shares, buoyed by the expectations of a recovery of the global chip industry.

In 2023, foreign investors scooped up a net 16.73 trillion won of shares in Samsung Electronics, the largest amount since related data was compiled from 1999, according to the nation’s sole bourse operator Korea Exchange. It also marked a turnaround from their net selling stance shown in the 2020-2022 period.

The net purchases from overseas investors were shown throughout 10 months of 2023, except for August and October. The largest net buying was made in April at 3.13 trillion won, followed by 2.56 trillion won in May and 2.22 trillion won in January.

With foreigners going on a buying spree on Samsung shares, the foreign holdings of the tech giant rose from 49.6 percent from end-2022 to 53.9 percent, up 4.3 percentage points on-year.

Its stock price which closed at 78,500 won Thursday, the last trading day of the year, up nearly 40 percent compared to the end of 2022.

Foreign investors’ buying rush for the market bellwether led a net buying spree for the overall Kospi market, mounting up to 11.35 trillion won. It was the first time the figure surpassed 10 trillion won since 2016.

Other top buys by overseas investors last year were SK hynix at 2.76 trillion won, Hyundai Motor Company at 1.8 trillion won and Kia at 1.18 trillion won.

Unlike foreign investors, retail investors dumped Samsung Electronics shares, net selling a total of 16.19 trillion won in 2023.

“Foreigners’ buying strengthened with the growing expectations on the soft landing (of the US economy) since December's Federal Open Market Committee meeting. The growing bullish sentiment for big US tech companies had its influence, too," analyst Choi Yu-june from Shinhan Securities assessed.

But analyst Lee Jae-man of Hana Securities projected that the rally for this year would not be as strong as in 2023.

"It is hard to expect a gain in this year's chip shares as large as last year's as the expectations (for recovery) have already been reflected," Lee explained.