No. of shareholders of Korean Inc. up 4.1% in 2022 despite weak market

2023. 3. 17. 09:57
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[Photo by Yonhap]
South Korea has seen a 4.1 percent on-year rise in the number of shareholders of listed companies last year despite the bearish market and their favorite stock was Samsung Electronics Co.

According to data from the Korea Securities Depository and business reports of each of the listed companies on Thursday, the number of shareholders of 2,509 listed companies in Korea stood at 14.41 million at the end of December last year, up 4.1 percent from the previous year.

A single shareholder had an average of 5.85 stocks and 7,688 shares.

The data showed that Samsung Electronics had the most number of shareholders with 6.38 million, up 13.6 percent from a year ago, and three times more than Kakao Corp. that came in second with 2.07 million shareholders.

The rise in the number of shareholders is attributed to the growing attention on the stock market amid the fierce global chip war.

“Many people bought shares of Samsung Electronics or transferred them to their children when the price fell to as low as the 50,000 won ($38.4) level per share,” said an unnamed official from the financial investment industry.

SK hynix Inc., whose stock price plunged last year, also saw the number of shareholders grow to more than 1 million. Hyundai Motor Group also had 1.21 million shareholders last year.

Among Kosdaq stocks, theme stocks with high growth potential such as those of games, bio, and secondary batteries saw a rise in the number of shareholders.

[Courtesy of Kakao Games]
Kakao Games Corp., the gaming unit of Korea’s platform giant Kakao Corp., overtook Celltrion Healthcare Co. as the most favored stock with 290,000 shareholders.

EcoPro BM and L&F Co., both manufacturers of battery cathode materials, had 220,000 and 170,000 shareholders, respectively.

“Individuals that missed out on buying local shares in the bullish stock market in early 2020 seemed determined to buy stocks in the second half of last year believing that it was the right timing,” said Oh Hyun-seok, head of digital asset management at Samsung Securities Co.

Some investors with 3 billion won or more in assets, in particular, expanded investments in the end of May and early September last year upon market adjustments.

Market analysts also note that there were more stock transfers last year when the prices remained low

According to Korea Securities Depository, the number of stock owners aged under 20 rose 4 percent to 750,000 in 2022. They owned 270,000 shares, up from 260,000.

By investor type, men in their 50s who live in the affluent Gangnam area in southern Seoul owned the largest 1.18 billion shares.

The number of investors in their 20s, meanwhile, fell by 11 percent to 1.8 million in 2022, and those in their 30s from 2.85 million to 2.83 million, data showed.

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