[THE INVESTOR] South Korean stocks were the second top pick for foreign investors in Asia, after Taiwanese shares, in the first half of this year, according to the Korea Exchange on July 4.
In the January-June period, foreigners bought a net US$6.25 billion worth of Taiwanese stocks, followed by the purchases of Korean stocks and Indian shares worth $3.42 billion and $2.74 billion, respectively.
In 2015, foreign investors broke their net buying streak in Asia for the first time in three years. In South Korea alone, foreigners were net sellers for $3.42 billion worth of stocks.
But the trend has been reversed this year for most parts of Asia, with the exception of China and Japan.
Outside of these two countries, foreign investors were found to have purchased $14.9 billion worth of stocks in Asia up to June this year.
Taiwan was the most popular destination for these investors, who net bought $6.24 billion worth of Taiwanese stocks this year.
In contrast, they sold US$80 million worth of shares in Vietnam, where foreign investors had been avid buyers for the past five years up to 2015.
Thailand’s main stock index saw the biggest rise among the key Asian indices this year. The Thai SET index rose 12.19 percent during the first half of this year. Following was the main index in the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam.
South Korea’s KOSPI index rose 0.46 percent as of the end of June, compared to the end of 2015.
On June 24, when Britain voted to leave the European Union, foreign investors had sold off US$ 50.4 million worth of Asian stocks. But they soon returned as net buyers, snapping up US$ 579 million worth of shares for five trading days up until June 30.