SEOUL, Jan. 16 (Yonhap) -- The market value of listed stocks in Seoul owned by foreigners expanded significantly last year to surpass 480 trillion won (US$408 billion), government data showed Monday.
Foreigners bought a net 12.1 trillion won worth of shares in South Korea in 2016, the largest since 2012, according to the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS).
It marks a sharp increase from 3.5 trillion won in 2015 and 6.3 trillion won in 2014.
As a result, the market capitalization of shares held by foreigners totaled 481.6 trillion won last year, accounting for 31.2 percent of the total. The ratio stood at 28.6 percent in 2015.
In December alone, foreigners net-purchased 1.7 trillion won worth of stocks, while selling a net 527 billion won worth of shares.
On the other hand, foreigners' aggregate bond holdings dropped 11.9 percent on-year to 89.3 trillion won in 2016.
"The inflow and outflow of foreign capital showed relatively stable trends last year despite unrelenting variations like the North Korean nuclear issue, Brexit, THAAD deployment and the U.S. rate hike," a FSS official said.