May 31, 2021 11:34
The National Pension Service made a W72 trillion profit last year from stock investments, W19 trillion from Samsung Electronics shares alone (US$1=W1,116).
The NPS has W35.5 trillion worth of Samsung shares, accounting for 4.7 percent of the fund's entire assets.
Last year's rate of return on Samsung shares was in excess of 50 percent as the stock market boomed, compared to the NPS' average rate of return of 9.6 percent. Although it invested less than five percent of its assets in Samsung shares, they accounted for 26 percent of its total earnings.
Samsung's share price skyrocketed from W55,000 in early 2020 to W81,000 by the end of the year or almost 50 percent.
The number of small shareholders mushroomed to 3.85 million people with ordinary stocks and 1.12 million who own preferred shares as of the end of this first quarter. That means one in 10 Koreans has Samsung stocks.
It remains to be seen if the NPS will continue to make a profit this year. It reduced Samsung shares in its portfolio from 10.7 percent at the end of last year to 9.75 percent at the end of March. Also, the share price, which peaked at just over W90,000 early this year, has fallen to less than W80,000.
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