SEOUL, Sept. 14 (Yonhap) — South Korean investors have poured a huge amount of money into initial public offerings (IPO) this year amid ample liquidity, industry sources said Monday.

Investor deposits for IPO subscription in Asia’s fourth-largest economy came to 150.9 trillion won (US$134 billion) between January and last week, about 1.5 times the full-year figure for 2019.

A total of 45 companies have gone public this year, compared with 99 issues last year.

This year’s amount is also well over the 85 trillion won in subscription deposits for 98 IPOs in 2018.

Drug firm SK Biopharmaceuticals Co. triggered local investors’ rush to new stock sales as its IPO attracted nearly 31 trillion won in June.

Gaming company Kakao Games Corp., which made its debut on the country’s tech-heavy KOSDAQ market last week, set a new record for IPO subscription deposits by luring 58.5 trillion won.

Industry watchers said IPO subscription deposits are set to pass 200 trillion won to hit an all-time high this year as dozens of companies plan to sell shares down the road.

Among those companies is Big Hit Entertainment, the management agency for K-pop super group BTS that is slated to go public next month.

Analysts attributed the IPO rush to plentiful market liquidity amid record low interest rates and investor interest in the stock market due to a lack of promising investment vehicles.

Investor interest in the IPO market is expected to remain high until next year as more liquidity is likely to flow into the market amid no change in the country’s soft monetary policy, they added.