August 27, 2020 11:20
The number of small individual shareholders of Samsung Electronics has jumped 2.6 times during the first half of this year amid a stock-market bull run.
According to the Financial Supervisory Service on Tuesday, the number of people who own less than one percent of Samsung shares rose from 568,313 in late 2019 to 1.45 million at the end of June this year.
Individual investors snapped up W8.36 trillion worth of Samsung shares in the first half of this year, making them the most popular in the Korean stock market (US$1=W1,187). Analysts said investors appear turned to blue-chip stocks after the government's tightened real-estate regulations and ultra-low interest rates took the luster out of savings accounts.
At the same time, foreign and institutional investors unloaded W6.7 trillion and W1.99 trillion worth of Samsung shares in the first half of the year.
That means small individual shareholders now wield more power in the tech giant's management. As of the end of June, foreign investors owned 55 percent of Samsung and the majority shareholders only 21.2 percent, though a Byzantine system of cross-holding allows the Lee family to keep an iron grip.
Excluding the National Pension Service, which holds an 11.1 percent stake, individual investors now own 12.7 percent, up 1.3 percentage points compared to the end of 2019.
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