News dalla rete ITA

2 Febbraio 2018

Corea del Sud

SEOUL STOCKS RALLY TO CLOSE AT RECORD HIGH

Seoul stocks extended their rally to close at record highs for three straight sessions Monday on expectations that tighter government regulations on cryptocurrency and the housing market would boost the stock market, dealers said.The benchmark KOSPI closed up 23.43 points or 0.91 percent at record high 2,598.19, after breaching the 2,600-point mark for the first time ever during the session.The tech-heavy Kosdaq also extended its gains for five straight sessions, closing up 1.53 percent at 927.05 points. It is the first time in 16 years that the Kosdaq index has closed above 920-point mark.Foreign and institutional investors actively bought stocks, allowing the market to extend its rally, analysts said.The stock market's rally reflects expectations that the government's move to cool cryptocurrency and real estate markets would positively affect stocks, analysts said."I am very certain the Kosdaq will reach 1,000 points soon," said Hyeon Joon-ho, analyst from HMC Investment and Securities."The government has made it clear that it will regulate the cryptocurrency market. With the government committed to tackle speculative investment in cryptocurrency, there isn't much room for virtual coins to enjoy the rallies they had in the second half of last year. Now, money is coming to the stock market."Also, government regulations on the country's housing market are boosting the inflow into the stock market. "The nation's housing market has a high barrier to private investors. You need to have at least 500 million won ($469,000) to buy an apartment in Seoul," NH Nonhyup Bank housing loan manager Roh Joon said."The government is committed to imposing stringent rules on the soaring housing market, although home prices in southern Seoul still remain strong. Investors will choose the stock market over housing," Roh said.According to the Korea Financial Investment Association, Monday, the number of stock accounts reached 25,060,000 as of Jan. 25. The figure has constantly grown for the last few months to reach 25 million on Jan. 19, and is expected to continue soaring due to the government's Kosdaq-friendly policy.It added 170,000 more stock accounts in October, 270,000 in November and another 220,000 in December. More than 280,000 stock accounts have been added so far this month.Given the country has an economically active population of 2.73 million as of December, nine out of 10 people are presumed to have been participating in stock investment. The figure was less than 50 percent ten years ago. The government announced a set of steps to promote the Kosdaq market earlier this month. It said it will help boost the tech-loaded bourse as a means to support startups that would be new growth engines for the economy. It includes setting new benchmark index KRX300, establishing a 300 billion won Kosdaq scale-up fund, and exempting transaction tax on pension funds' investment in the junior market.Analysts expect the KOSPI to extend its rally to reach as high as 2,900 to 3,000 points in the first half, boosted by resilient global stock markets and stronger corporate earnings outlook. (ICE SEOUL)