Foreigners invest heavily in S. Korean chipmakers, expect big boom

Share prices in South Korean chipmakers Samsung and SK hynix are expected to rise further as investors bet on a recovery in the memory chip market next year, analysts here have said.

The two largest chipmakers — Samsung Electronics and SK hynix — have been skyrocketing in recent weeks with foreigners’ buying spree.

SK hynix continued its rally on Tuesday after touching a nine-month high on the previous day. It climbed 0.1 percent to 98,100 won (US$88), extending its winning streak to six straight days.

Samsung fell 0.9 percent to close at 65,700 won on Tuesday after soaring to a record high 66,300 won on the previous day.

The share price of Samsung was only 56,600 won on October 30, while that of SK hynix was 79,900 won.

Foreigners have been scooping up Samsung stocks in the last nine days. Foreigners have been also buying SK hynix shares in the last 10 days, reports Yonhap news agency.

Analysts said foreign investors are buying local semiconductor stocks as they anticipate a big boom in the memory market next year.

Memory chip prices have been falling in recent quarters as server companies adjust their inventory levels, but analysts believe they will rebound next year.

“We expect to see a ‘big cycle’ in the memory market next year on demand recovery and short supplies,” said Choi Do-yeon, an analyst at Shinhan Investment Financial Investment. “There is almost no memory investment in 2020 for the production in 2021.”

Analysts said local chipmakers are still undervalued when it comes to share prices and that gives them more room to grow compared to other companies.

According to a report from KB Securities, share prices of the top eight caps on the KOSPI, excluding Samsung and SK hynix, have jumped more than 80 per cent on average from the beginning of the year.

Samsung managed to increase about 20 percent over the period.

“Considering their performance outlook for 2021 and low valuations, this may be a good opportunity for investors to purchase such stocks in the fourth quarter,” said Kim Dong-won, an analyst at KB Securities.