SEOUL Feb 5 Foreign outflows from the South
Korean stock and bond markets hit a 13-month high in January,
data from the markets regulator showed on Tuesday, as the Korean
won's recent appreciation triggered profit-taking.
Foreign investors took out a net 2.84 trillion won ($2.59
billion) from the local financial markets last month, the
Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) said. The outflow was the ,
the biggest since December 2011.
Outflow of foreign capital from the stock market stood at
1.93 trillion won during January, as worries that the local
currency's recent appreciation would undermine corporate
earnings led to profit-taking.
U.S. fund manager Vanguard's decision to switch from the
MSCI index to the FTSE to track markets for its emerging market
fund also contributed to the outflows, the FSS said.
Foreigners also took out 912 billion won from the bond
market last month, marking the first outflow since August as
they sought to lock in gains stemming from the won's recent
In the fourth quarter of 2012, the local currency
strengthened 3.8 percent against the dollar and 16.5 percent
against the yen.
In January, investors from China bought a net 117 billion
worth of local bonds, marking the first rise for them in four
months. Swiss investors were net buyers of 121 billion won of
Korean debt, while Norwegian investors bought a net 56 billion
won last month.
An official at the FSS said the Norwegian sovereign wealth
fund and the Swiss central bank bought won-denominated bonds
during January. He did not disclose the scale of the
($1 = 1097.3000 Korean won)
(Reporting by Se Young Lee; Editing by Richard Borsuk)