SEOUL, Jan. 3 (Korea Bizwire) — The United Arab Emirates (UAE) purchased a net 967 billion won (US$908.6 million) worth of South Korean stocks last November, raising its holdings of local equity by 7.8 percent from a month earlier, data showed Wednesday.
The UAE, which held 9.4 trillion won worth of South Korean stocks at the end of November, had remained a net seller of South Korean stocks between June and October last year.
It was not known why the UAE turned bullish on local equity in November, but stock market watchers said the timing coincided with a visit by South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo to the Middle East nation.
Song visited the UAE last November to inspect South Korean troops deployed there.
About a month later, South Korean presidential chief of staff Im Jong-seok traveled to the UAE and Lebanon as a special presidential envoy to visit South Korean troops deployed in the countries.
Rumors have swirled that Im hurriedly traveled to the UAE to allay its concerns about the possible impact of President Moon Jae-in’s nuclear phase-out policy on a set of bilateral deals in which Seoul is to export and operate four nuclear reactors in the Middle East country.
Presidential aides have dismissed the controversy over Im’s visit to the UAE, saying it was aimed at delivering a handwritten letter from Moon to enhance bilateral ties.