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South Korea sees stocks, bonds outflows for third month in February

[SEOUL] Foreign investors took their money out of South Korean stocks and bonds for the third straight month in February, according to official data, as global growth uncertainties saw funds flowing to advanced economies in search of safe-haven assets.

Foreign investors pulled a net 4.2 trillion won (S$3.2 billion) worth out of their bond holdings in February, according to the Financial Supervisory Service, dwarfing the outflow of 0.5 trillion won that was seen in January.

The selloff was led by US investors, who lowered their paper holdings by a net 3.7 trillion won, followed by investors in Luxembourg and Israel, who reduced their holdings by 1.8 trillion won and 0.4 trillion won worth, respectively.

As a result, foreigners held 6.2 per cent of all South Korean bonds in February, dropping from 6.5 per cent in January.

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At the end of February, China held the biggest per centage of South Korean bonds of all foreign investors, with holdings worth 17.5 trillion won.

US investors came in second with holdings worth 14.4 trillion won worth, followed by Switzerland, who carry 13.2 trillion won worth.

Meanwhile, the same data showed foreigners sold a net 194 billion won worth of South Korean shares in February, smaller than a 3.1 trillion won sell-off seen in the previous month.

Again, US investors dumped the most stocks as they sold a net 0.9 trillion won worth, while investors in the UK and the Cayman Islands unloaded a net 0.5 trillion won and 0.3 trillion won worth, respectively.

REUTERS

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