SEOUL, Aug. 19 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korean retail investors have doubled their stake in Samsung Electronics Co. in eight months amid foreigners’ selling spree, data showed Thursday.
Local individual investors had net-bought 394 million shares in the global tech behemoth as of Wednesday this year, or 6.6 percent of its outstanding shares, according to the data from the Korea Exchange.
The percentage is higher than their 6.48 stake in Samsung Electronics as of the end of last year.
On the back of retail investors’ strong buying of Samsung shares, their stake in Samsung Electronics, the crown jewel of South Korea’s top conglomerate Samsung Group, has topped the 13 percent mark for the first time.
Lee Jae-yong, Samsung Electronics vice chairman and de facto leader of Samsung Group, and related parties hold the largest stake of 21.9 percent in Samsung Electronics, with the National Pension Fund owning slightly less than 10 percent.
In contrast, foreign investors and local institutions have net-sold 243 million and 161 million shares in Samsung Electronics, respectively, over the cited period.
Retail investors have spent nearly 32 trillion won (US$27.3 billion) to purchase the additional stake, with the number of individual investors in Samsung Electronics estimated to exceed 5 million.
According to a half-year report by Samsung Electronics, the number of small investors with a stake of less than 1 percent stood at 4.55 million as of end-June, up 2.4 million from six months earlier.
Industry sources said individual investors’ massive buying is backed by hopes for a price rebound and its dividend yield being higher than bank deposit rates.
Samsung Electronics paid out a divided of 2,944 won ($2.52) per share last year, which amounted to 3.69 percent of its share price as of end-December.