SEOUL, April 28 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korea’s investment in overseas stocks sharply almost has tripled over the past three years as investors sought higher returns in overseas markets, data showed Tuesday.
The amount of South Koreans’ direct investment in foreign stocks came to US$2.89 billion in the January-March period, soaring from $93.05 million from the same period three years ago, according to data compiled by the Korea Securities Depository Corporation (KSDC).
It also increased 10 percent from $2.6 billion the previous quarter, the KSDC said, as an additional interest rate cut by the Bank of Korea in February boosted appetite for risky assets.
Koreans bought $1.74 billion worth of U.S. stocks in the first three months of this year, accounting for the highest portion of offshore stock investment. Investment in Hong Kong stocks came next with $791.47 million, followed by Japan with $128.67 million.
Direct investment in mainland Chinese stocks, however, dropped to $970,000 from $1.23 million over the cited period as the Hong Kong stock market became a magnet for international investors after a stock connect program with Shanghai started in November.
Market watchers say investors should be aware of higher risks when buying lesser-known foreign equities.
“The global stock market is in fever mode, and investors have a lack of information on offshore shares, which require investors to pay extra caution,” said Choi Ho-beom, a global marketing director at Daishin Securities.