Chinese and Japanese investments in South Korea more than doubled on-year to an all-time high last year, data showed Monday, as investors from the neighboring countries increased purchases of local stocks and bonds.
Last year's outstanding investment in Asia's fourth-largest economy by Japanese and Chinese investors amounted to a combined 7.38 trillion won about (US$6.73 billion), rising by more than twofold compared to 3.54 trillion won in the previous year, according to data compiled by the Financial Supervisory Service.
The data covers foreign investment in the local securities market as well as in bonds.
The figure is the highest since the financial watchdog first began collecting such data in 2009. The previous record came in 2010, when the number reached 6.66 trillion won.
The rise has much to do with rapid economic growth in China as well as the quantitative easing in Japan, according to market watchers.
"The influx of capital seems to have come about as China is pushing to diversify its foreign exchange reserves and as Japan is continuing its quantitative easing policies," a market official said.
"Especially for investors from China, it is very likely that investments will spill over into real estate or venture capital down the road." In the South Korean stock market, the overall net purchase by foreign investors stood at 6.29 trillion won last year, of which those from Japan were the second-largest at 3.2 trillion won, followed by Chinese investors with 2 trillion won, data showed. U.S. investors scooped up a net 3.83 trillion won to take up the highest portion, according to South Korea's (Yonhap) News Agency.
Chinese investors bought a net 2.2 trillion won worth of South Korean bonds to rank in first place last year, while it came in at No. 2 in terms of bond holdings, trailing the United States, according to the data.