SEOUL, Sept. 11 (Korea Bizwire) — Foreign investors turned net sellers of South Korean stocks in August as they locked in profits following a bull run in the local stock market amid economic recovery hopes, the central bank said Friday.
Foreigners sold a net US$890 million worth of local stocks last month, a turnaround from a net purchase of $1.39 billion in shares in July, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).
Foreign investors were net buyers of Seoul shares in July after extending a selling spree to a fifth month.
The BOK said offshore investors cashed in profits following rises in stock prices. In August, South Korea’s stock prices rose 3.3 percent on the main bourse.
Last month, foreign investors snapped up Korean bonds worth $670 million, smaller than $3.01 billion in the previous month, it said.
In total, foreigners offloaded a net $220 million worth of local stocks and bonds in August, a turnaround from a net purchase of $4.39 billion.
Meanwhile, volatility in South Korea’s currency eased in August from the previous month, the bank said.
The daily fluctuation of the dollar-won exchange rate came to an average of 2.2 won per day in August, down from 2.9 won a month earlier.
The Korean won appreciated 0.29 percent against the U.S. dollar in August compared with July.
Situations for the country’s foreign currency borrowing remained sound as the spread charged on local banks’ short-term as well as mid- and long-term overseas borrowing declined, the BOK said.
The spread on credit default swaps (CDSs) for South Korea’s 5-year dollar-denominated currency stabilization bonds came in at 22 basis points in August, down from 25 basis points a month earlier.