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Foreign ownership of Hyundai Motor, Samsung growing

Publication Date : 01-08-2012

 

Foreign investors are cutting back their stakes in major Korean companies amid a sliding stock market hard hit by the European debt crisis.

But they are expanding ownership at the nation’s top two conglomerates Samsung and Hyundai, Chaebol.com, a website tracking Korean conglomerate owners, revealed yesterday.

According to the research firm, 93 affiliates of the nation’s top 10 conglomerates saw their combined foreign ownership decline from 20.19 per cent in March to 19.79 per cent this month.

The 0.4 per cent decrease came as foreign ownership of the entire stock market declined recently from 31.57 per cent to 31.48 per cent largely due to a bearish KOSPI and KOSDAQ.

Hanjin Group, whose flagship units are Korean Air and Hanjin Shipping, saw the highest decrease in foreign ownership, with the figure falling from 19.01 per cent to 16.73 per cent over the past five months.

Overseas investors also reduced their influence at Hyundai Heavy Industries from 17.55 per cent to 16.36 per cent, Doosan Group from 8.64 per cent to 7.48 per cent and LG Group from 24.75 per cent to 23.62 per cent.

Meanwhile, foreigners expanded their influence at Samsung and Hyundai Motor Group -- the nation’s two largest conglomerates -- during the same period as the local bourse experienced a correction.

Foreign ownership increased from 27.19 per cent to 27.26 per cent at Samsung Group. Even though foreign investors sold off their shares at Samsung’s flagship unit Samsung Electronics, they bought more shares at other key affiliates such as Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance, Samsung Construction & Trading and Samsung Securities.

Hyundai Motor Group, which owns Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors, saw its foreign ownership increase most among the top 10 conglomerates, with the figure increasing from 32.37 per cent to 32.87 per cent.

GS Group, whose largest affiliate is refiner GS Caltex, also an increase in shares owned by foreign investors from 15.59 per cent to 15.65 per cent.

“Recently, a growing number of foreign investors are managing their assets through an exchange-traded fund (an investment fund traded on stock exchanges),” said Kang Hyun-cheol, an analyst at Woori Investment & Securities.

“Differences among conglomerates reflect the recent trend."

 

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