SEOUL, Jan. 20 (Korea Bizwire) — The number of stock trading accounts in South Korea is expected to surpass 30 million soon on the back of the rising popularity of mobile stock trading and a bull run in overseas markets, data showed Monday.
According to the data by the Korea Financial Investment Association (KOFIA), 29.45 million stock trading accounts remained active as of Thursday, up from 16.3 million in 2009.
An active stock trading account requires a minimum deposit of 100,000 won (US$86.06) and a transaction history every six months.
The hike was particularly steep since 2018, as the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) surpassed the 2,600-point mark.
Last year, more retail investors also opened stock trading accounts to buy and sell overseas stocks.
Last year, the Dow Jones Industrial Average soared 22.34 percent, dwarfing the 7.67 percent yearly advance of the KOSPI.
Over the same period, the S&P 500 jumped 28.88 percent and the tech-laden Nasdaq composite index rose 35.23 percent.
Local investors’ trading for U.S. stocks in 2019 topped $30.9 billion, up 37.4 percent from the previous year, according to the data compiled by the Korea Securities Depository (KSD).
The rise in the use of smartphones also pushed up the number of stock trading accounts. Easier access to stock trading expanded the pool of investors from the 40-50 age group to the younger generation.
Korea Investment & Securities Co. said that investors opened 1.16 million new trading accounts via the internet-only Kakao Bank, about 80 percent of which are held by those who are in their 20s and 30s, it added.
The number of mobile trading accounts is expected to rise further down the road, industry watchers said, as brokerages are braced for stronger competition to secure more customers from the younger generation.