SEOUL, April 14 (Yonhap) — South Koreans’ overseas stock transactions touched a new high in the first quarter of the year on brisk investment in U.S. tech firms, data showed Wednesday.

Local investors’ trading of overseas shares was valued at US$128.51 billion in the January-March period, up 96.5 percent from three months earlier, according to the data from the Korea Securities Depository (KSD).

It represents the largest quarterly amount since data tracking began in 2011. The figure covers overseas stock purchases and sales made through the depository institution.

The value of U.S. stocks traded by South Korean investors spiked 98.7 percent on-quarter to $119.9 billion, accounting for 93.3 percent of the total.

U.S. electric vehicle giant Tesla Motors Inc. was South Korean investors’ top pick at $11.87 billion, followed by video game vendor GameStop with $5.2 billion and smartphone giant Apple Inc. with $3.86 billion.

Meanwhile, South Korean investors’ transactions of overseas bonds came to $29.05 billion in the first quarter, up 18.7 percent from the previous quarter.

Local investors’ trading of overseas securities also reached an all-time high of $157.56 billion in the three-month period, up 75.3 percent from three months earlier.

The logo of the Korea Securities Depository (KSD) (Yonhap)