After breaking through the 2600 mark, the KOSPI has settled at a yearly high of 2640토토사이트. While the index is back to where it was a year ago, have the ants who were restless in the bear market gotten a satisfying return? Apparently not. While foreigners have been pouring trillions of won into the Korean stock market, mainly semiconductors, driving the index higher, ants have been doing the exact opposite since the beginning of the year, selling semiconductors. In this Sunday MoneyCafe, we will look at the diametrically opposed investment behavior of ants and foreigners and the outlook for the semiconductor industry, which has been driving the index higher.

According to the Korea Exchange, the benchmark Kospi ended the previous trading day at 2641.16, up 1.16% from the previous session. The index has been on a steady climb since hitting a yearly high and breaking above the 2600 level two days ago. Major semiconductor stocks such as Samsung Electronics (005930) and SK Hynix (000660) have been running on fumes. Samsung Electronics gained 1.55% on the day to close at 72,000 won, while SK Hynix surged a whopping 5.2% to close at 115,500 won. The stock even hit a new high of 115,600 won.

It’s foreigners who are driving Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix. Foreigners are buying up Samsung Electronics for 10.67 trillion won and SK hynix for 1.63 trillion won this year, driving up the stock prices. Even after Samsung Electronics recovered its “70,000 electronics” status, foreigners continued their interest, buying nearly 1.4 trillion won in Samjeon and 958 billion won in SK hynix.

Hyundai Motor (005380), which earned the highest operating profit among all listed companies in the first quarter, also showed great interest, with net purchases of 1.237 trillion won. Hyundai, which was trading in the 150,000 won range earlier this year, has seen its stock price respond to its performance, recently climbing to 210,000 won.

Ants, on the other hand, have been doing the exact opposite. While the stock has been on a steady upward curve since the beginning of the year, when it crashed to the mid-50,000 won range, amid favorable news such as memory semiconductor production cuts, ants have been exiting the market, selling Samsung every time the stock has risen a little. Individuals have been net sellers of Samsung Electronics by nearly 9 trillion won this year. They sold 2.16 trillion won of SK Hynix and 1.32 trillion won of Hyundai Motor, virtually eliminating all of the large-cap stocks that drove the KOSPI higher from their portfolios in a rush to take short-term profits or minimize losses. It is estimated that there are many investors with bitter feelings as the stock prices of major stocks such as Samjeon and Hynix have continued to rise steadily without any correction.

Some have joked that it would be funny to follow the investing methods of ants in reverse. As the year comes to a close, the question is whether foreigners or individuals buying semiconductors will be laughing. The clue ultimately lies in the outlook for the semiconductor industry. Foreigners are presumably dumping Samjeon and Hynix into their baskets with the expectation that the semiconductor industry will trend upward in the future, and once earnings improvements start to show, stock prices could soar once again. On the other hand, the ants, who either got tired of Samjeon being stuck in the 5,000 won range for over a year, or decided that it was a short-term overheating and a correction was likely to come, quickly cleaned out the semiconductor.

In the end, the foreigners will win, according to stockbrokers. As the semiconductor industry is in the early stages of a supercycle, there is more room for upside than downside. The broker believes that Samsung Electronics is likely to settle in the 80,000 to 90,000 won range within six months. Kiwoom, SK, Yujin, Yuanta, and IBK have even come up with price targets of 90,000 won. The same goes for SK hynix. Until March or April, brokerage firms were offering price targets for SK hynix in the range of KRW 110,000-120,000, but as the stock recently hit a new high and settled in the KRW 115,000 range, they are raising their sights. Some brokerage firms have suggested a price target of 140,000 won (BNK Investment & Securities), while Shinhan-SK-Keum-Merits believes that SK hynix’s stock price could reach 130,000 won within the year.

The rationale behind the price target hike is that the semiconductor market is bound to normalize eventually, and the timing is accelerating, which could benefit Samjon and Hynix, both of which produce high-performance memory semiconductors. The expectation that the artificial intelligence (AI) market will blossom in earnest, leading to a surge in demand for high-bandwidth memory (HBM) and other products that domestic memory semiconductor companies are strong in, is also a positive factor for the two companies, as they could see the cuts as an opportunity to reduce inventories of older products and accelerate the transition to double-data rate 5 (DDR5), the next generation of D-RAM.

“Within the server market, demand is increasingly driven by DDR5, while supply is limited due to competitors’ production delays,” said Lee Min-hee, a researcher at BNK Investment & Securities. “As SK hynix benefits from its market leadership, the share of DDR5 will increase from the mid-20% at the end of Q1 to 40% in Q2 and over 50% in H2.” Kim Dong-won, a researcher at KB Securities, also commented on Samsung Electronics, saying, “The company is expected to enter the memory market for AI servers from next year as HBM3 is expected to be launched in the fourth quarter of this year.” “From the fourth quarter, D-RAM and NAND prices will turn upward due to the effect of increased shipments while supply and demand are reflected in the effect of cuts by the three global memory companies.”

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