SEOUL, April 1 (Yonhap) — Stocks held by South Korean retail investors jumped nearly 60 percent in 2020 from a year earlier amid their investment craze, data showed Thursday.
Local individuals owned 662 trillion won (US$586 billion) worth of listed shares as of the end of 2020, up 58 percent from a year earlier, according to the data from the Korea Securities Depository (KSD).
The on-year increase in the value of retail investors’ stock holdings accounted for nearly 38 percent of last year’s rise in total market capitalization.
Individual stock holdings took up 28 percent of the market value as of end-2020, up 3.6 percentage points from a year earlier. Foreigners’ proportion stood at 31.8 percent.
Retail investors in their 50s held the largest amount of shares at 212 trillion won, followed by those in their 40s with 140 trillion won and sexagenarians with 136 trillion won.
Per-capita holdings reached 72.45 million won as of end-December, up 6.2 percent from the previous year.
The KSD attributed the jump in the value of individual stock holdings to a jump in the number of retail investors amid a stock market rally following the coronavirus outbreak.
Nearly 3 million South Koreans started investing in stocks last year, accounting for 32.8 percent of the total 9.12 million retail investors, according to the data.