Samsung top pick of S Korean retail investors this year

South Korean retail investors have loaded up on shares in top-cap Samsung Electronics this year, reaping a huge return on their investments, data showed on Monday.

Local individual investors had bought a net 14.7 trillion won (US$13.3 billion) worth of common and preferred shares in the global tech giant as of Thursday, according to the data from the Korea Exchange.

Retail investors’ massive purchase has made Samsung, the world’s leading smartphone and memory chip maker, the most-bought stock among companies listed on the local bourse.

No. 1 automaker Hyundai Motor came next with net buying worth 2.6 trillion won, followed by portal giant Naver with 2.2 trillion won and its rival Kakao with 1.4 trillion won.

Individual investors had registered a return of 46.7 percent on their investments in Samsung, the flagship of top family-controlled conglomerate Samsung Group, reports Yonhap news agency.

Retail investors also chalked up a return of 51.6 percent on their investments in Hyundai Motor, which well outperformed the 27.7 percent gain in the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) this year.

In contrast, they recorded huge negative returns on investments in SK Biopharmaceuticals, Kakao Games and Big Hit Entertainment, whose initial public offerings drew keen attention from investors.

Market watchers said retail investors will likely drive the local stock market’s rally next year after net-buying 63.6 trillion won worth of shares listed on the country’s main and secondary bourses this year.

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