South Korean investors are choosing Apple over Samsung

AAPL on iPhone 6
AAPL on iPhone 6 (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • South Korean investors made Apple their top pick during the final quarter of 2019.
  • This in a part of the world where Samsung may be expected to be popular.
  • December alone saw almost $31 million invested in Apple stocks.

Apple stocks are popular everywhere, but they're so popular in South Korea that investors made Apple their number one pick during the final quarter of 2019. That's according to data shared by the Korea Securities Depository.

The numbers are huge, too. The Korea Herald reports (via 9to5Mac) that investors picked up almost $60 million in Apple stock during the period, even after stock sold locally was taken into account.

Apple outperformed all other market-leading tech shares in 2019, rising 86 percent, as its new products, such as the Apple Watch 4 series, drew better-than-expected market response.According to the data compiled by the Korea Securities Depository (KSD), South Korean investors net bought US$59.3 million worth of Apple stocks, the largest tally among all foreign companies during the October-December period of 2019.In December alone, Korean investors scooped up a net buying of Apple stocks worth $30.6 million, the data showed.Local investors' Apple stock holdings also swelled to $236 million as of Jan. 3, up from $134 million a year ago.

AAPL is going through a purple patch right now having reached $300 per share during the early days of 2020. And according to analyst Gene Munster that isn't likely to change any time soon. In fact, he reckons that we could see that number reach $400 instead.

"If you look at Apple's valuation in the current earnings multiple, it's still low relative to other tech companies," said Munster. "If you apply a Facebook multiple to Apple stock, it's a $400 stock."

If that works out there are going to be a lot of very happy South Koreans this year.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.