September 04, 2019 13:07
The number of listed companies whose market caps surpass W1 trillion fell to the lowest level in 30 months in August (US$1=W1,216).
The decline is attributed to foreign investors pulling their money out of Korean bourses due to the U.S.-China trade dispute and Japan's export curbs to Korea.
Foreign investors are particularly sensitive to fluctuating global economic cycles and appear to have cashed in large-cap stocks whose prospects seem murky.
According to financial information service FnGuide on Tuesday, the number of listed companies with total market capitalization of more than W1 trillion stood at 152 on the Korea Composite Stock Price Index and 21 on the junior Kosdaq at the end of last month, compared to 181 a month ago.
Their number has been declining steadily from 200 in February. The U.S.-China trade war seems set to drag on, while concerns over a global slump are also dealing a negative blow to Korean exporters' earnings.
Japan's export restrictions intensified in August casing the KOSPI to fall 2.88 percent and Kosdaq to decline 3.21 percent.
One financial industry insider said, "Increasing global risks and political uncertainties have prompted both investors and businesses to postpone investment and opt to increase safe-haven cash reserves."
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