SEOUL, Oct. 23 (Yonhap) — South Korean retail investors’ losses from investments in overseas financial derivatives nearly doubled in the first half of the year from a year earlier, data showed Friday.

Local individual investors suffered a combined loss of 880 billion won (US$775 million) from their exposure to exchange-traded futures, options and other derivatives in the January-June period, according to the data from the Financial Supervisory Service.

The amount is almost double their 2019 loss of some 416 billion won. Comparable losses were 782 billion won in 2018, 224 billion won in 2017 and 347 billion won in 2016, showed the data provided to a ruling party lawmaker for an annual parliamentary inspection of the financial watchdog.

The lawmaker, Rep. Kim Byung-wook of the Democratic Party, said South Korean retail investors could incur big losses from ill-advised investments in overseas exchange-traded derivatives that are easily available to them.

The data also showed South Korean institutional investors also suffered a combined loss of 3.86 trillion won from investments in overseas derivatives in the first half, a sharp turnaround from a 2.41 trillion-won profit.