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S. Korean investors' holdings of foreign securities hit new high in 2021

11:33 January 20, 2022

SEOUL, Jan. 20 (Yonhap) -- South Korean investors' holdings of foreign securities touched a new all-time high in 2021 on an overseas investment boom, data showed Thursday.

Local investors had held overseas stocks and bonds worth US$100.59 billion as of end-2021, up 39.3 percent from a year earlier, according to the data from the Korea Securities Depository (KSD).

Of the total, South Koreans' ownership of overseas stocks came to $77.91 billion, 65.5 percent more than a year earlier.

The value of U.S. stocks held by South Korean investors was the largest at $67.78 billion, up 81.5 percent from the previous year and accounting for 87 percent of their total overseas stock holdings.

The logo of the Korea Securities Depository (KSD) (Yonhap)

Hong Kong shares came next with $3.1 billion, followed by Japanese stocks with $2.73 billion and Chinese shares with $2.37 billion.

U.S. electric vehicle titan Tesla Motors Inc. was South Korean investors' top pick with their holdings reaching $15.46 billion, trailed by smartphone behemoth Apple Inc. with $5.03 billion, U.S. chipmaker Nvidia with $3.12 billion and tech giant Microsoft Corp. with $2.27 billion.

Meanwhile, South Korean investors' transactions of overseas stocks and bonds soared 51.7 percent on-year to a new record high of $490.71 billion in 2021, according to the data.

The value of overseas stock settled through the KSD came to $398.47 billion last year, up 100.9 percent from a year earlier.

U.S. stocks took up 92.9 percent of the total, with Tesla and Apple shares placing first and second with $34.1 billion and $10.94 billion, respectively.
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