December 26, 2012 / 2:41 AM / in 5 years

Seoul shares gain on buying by local institutions

SEOUL, Dec 26 (Reuters) - Seoul shares gained on Wednesday morning in thin post-Christmas trading, with buying by local institutions propping up the index.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was up 0.75 percent at 1,996.69 points at 0206 GMT.

The KOSPI’s turnover stood at 1.2 trillion Korean won near mid-session, less than 30 percent of its 30-day daily average according to Reuters data.

Local institutional investors net purchased 118 billion Korean won ($109.85 million) worth of KOSPI shares.

“The main index is rebounding after treading water on Monday and dropping on Friday, as investors eye the progress of U.S. fiscal negotiations,” said Kim Soo-young, an analyst at KB Securities.

Thursday is the day on which shares go ex-dividend, meaning that people who buy after then won’t qualify for dividends for the current reporting period.

Kim said the ex-dividend date is not affecting share movements to a large degree this late in the game, and historically trading volume has been low near year-end.

Blue-chips were mostly up. Heavyweight Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, which hit a record high of 1.533 million won on Dec. 13, gained 1.4 percent to 1.494 million won.

Among daily movers, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co Ltd rose 1.1 percent near mid-session.

The shipbuilder said Wednesday it won a 1.68 trillion won ($1.56 billion) order to build two submarines for South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration. On Tuesday, it announced a 1.89 trillion won order from Statoil ASA to build a fixed oil platform in the North Sea.

Mobile carriers SK Telecom Co Ltd, KT Corp and LG Uplus Corp bucked the trend by all falling at least 0.5 percent after South Korea’s telecom regulator on Monday decided to ban the carriers from attracting new subscribers for a combined 66 days.

The regulator said the mobile carriers had “unfairly discriminated” against subscribers in providing subsidies, and also slapped them with a total of 11.9 billion won in fines.

Gaining shares outnumbered decliners 498 to 254 near mid-session. The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks was up 0.9 percent, while the junior KOSDAQ edged 0.7 percent higher. ($1 = 1074.1500 Korean won) (Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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