Foreigners offloaded South Korean stocks and bonds worth around 1.3 trillion won (US$1.1 billion) in September as they fled for safe-haven assets amid concerns over the global economic recession, data showed Wednesday.
Overseas investors sold a net 1.3 trillion won of local stocks in September, driving down their share holdings to 339 trillion won as of the end of last month, compared with 350.2 trillion won as of end-August, according to the data by the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS).
When their massive 5.9 trillion won sale in August is combined, foreigners' net selling of local equities reached 7.2 trillion won over the last two months.
Foreign stock ownership, meanwhile, rebounded to 30.7 percent, after dipping to 29.8 percent last month, the first time the figure fell below the 30 percent level since October last year, the data showed.
The September selling spree was mostly led by European investors who sold a net 971.6 billion won worth of local equities. Net selling by investors from Luxembourg reached 623.7 billion won while that of Irish investors came to 543.3 billion won.
In contrast, investors from the United Arab Emirates snapped up shares worth 560.7 billion won last month.
Meanwhile, foreign investors offloaded a net 2.5 billion won worth of local bonds in September, breaking their seven-month net investment, the data showed.
European investors opted to reduce bond investments by 2 trillion won in September, but net investments made by Thai and U.S. investors reached 0.7 trillion won and 0.6 trillion won, respectively.
Foreigners' bond holdings reached a record 85.1 trillion in September, up from 84.7 trillion won in the previous month.