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Koreans' net purchase of US shares up 42-fold over past week on Nvidia stock split

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 A man passes an Nvidia logo at Computex in Taipei, Taiwan, June 5. / Reuters-Yonhap

A man passes an Nvidia logo at Computex in Taipei, Taiwan, June 5. / Reuters-Yonhap

By Lee Kyung-min

Retail investors' net purchases of U.S. shares skyrocketed by over 41 times, data showed Sunday, propelled by May 22 reports of U.S. IT powerhouse Nvidia's 10-for-1 stock split scheduled on Monday (local time).

Korean investors have since bought over 2 trillion won ($1.4 billion) of Nvidia's shares, buttressing the 30 percent increase in valuation thereafter.

According to the Korea Securities Depository, retail investors net purchased $663.4 million of U.S. stocks in the past week.

It was a 41.6-fold increase compared to $15.8 million the previous week.

Nvidia share price hovered around $949.5, before the news, but it spiked to $1224.4 on June 5.

The American firm's shares topped the list of the most net-purchased U.S. stocks. The amount came to $187.2 million.

It cemented itself as the second-largest market capitalization of $2.9 trillion, outshining Apple on Wednesday.

A readjustment of over 1 percent the following day sent the firm to the third-largest market cap player. But market watchers say the rapid weeks of increase is taking a breather and will soon track up.

The American firm was founded in 1993. Its market capitalization was only $500 billion until 2021.

However, it surpassed a market capitalization of $1 trillion in June last year, buoyed by the launch of the generative artificial intelligence ChatGPT in late 2022.

The figure topped $2 trillion in February, touching the $3 trillion mark in just four months.

Market watchers say Nvidia's market capitalization will soon overpower the United Kingdom and France, which have market caps of about $3.2 trillion and $3.4 trillion, respectively.

For context, the figure for Germany is $2.5 trillion, followed by Taiwan ($2.3 trillion) and Korea ($1.8 trillion).

Nvidia overpowering the two advanced European economies is a matter of time, an analyst said.

"It long exceeded the market caps of Germany, Taiwan and Korea. Overtaking the U.K. and France is only a matter of time," Mirae Asset Securities researcher Kim Seok-hwan said.

The share valuation spiked 145 percent this year, accounting for over a third of the increase in the S&P500's shares, he added.

"The combined market cap of the so-called magnificent seven, or M7, including Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Meta, Nvidia and Tesla, amounts to the record-high in the history of the S&P 500."

Lee Kyung-min


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