Foreign investors have continued to scoop up vast amounts of LG Chem shares in the first month of this year, after raking in some 2.38 trillion-won ($2.16 billion) worth of the South Korean chemical giant’s stocks last year, data showed Sunday.
Offshore investors purchased a net 605.4 billion-won worth of LG Chem stocks in the Jan. 4-Friday period, according to the Korea Exchange. It was followed by their net buying in internet platform giant Naver with 610.3 billion won across the same period.
Driven by foreigners’ strong buying, the leading chemical maker’s shares touched the 1 million-won mark for the first time during intraday trading on Jan. 13 and further rose to log its new record high of 1.05 million won on the following trading session.
Their buying spree is in sharp contrast to small domestic investors who have been binge selling in the wake of LG Chem’s announcement on its battery division split-off in September last year. Foreigners loaded up on the shares worth nearly 3.8 trillion won from Sept. 16 to Friday, while retail investors’ net sales marked over 2.54 trillion won.
Market watchers attributed offshore investors’ sustained buying mode to the leading chemical company’s undervalued stock price despite the rosy outlook surrounding its battery business.
“LG Chem shares valued relatively low compared to stock prices of other frontline companies and global rival firms such as China’s CATL,” said Hwang Yoo-sik, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities. “To uplift the valuation, foreign investors have continuously snapped up (LG Chem’s) stocks.”
On the contrary, retail investors dumped a massive amount of their shares amid mounting worries over the chemical firm losing its value after deciding to split-off its battery unit. The investors think such business action damages shareholder value, the experts explained.
LG Chem’s global battery business was officially launched as the wholly-owned LG Energy Solution last month. Prior to the decision, the National Pension Service, the second-largest shareholder of LG Chem with a 10.2 percent stake, opposed to the split-off scheme. Local proxy advisory Sustinvest also recommended shareholders to vote against the plan.
By Jie Ye-eun (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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