The low energy prices and cheap financing have also supported investor sentiment and positive outlook for earnings growth ahead. Tech companies, such as Samsung Electronics, are leading hopes of a turnaround in earnings. Samsung is also regaining its title as the world’s premier smartphone vendor, overtaking U.S. rival Apple (NasdaqGS: AAPL) last year, CNBC reports. Samsung is a major component in South Korea ETFs, including a 20.0% position in EWY.
Moreover, higher dividend payouts and stock split are encouraging some investors. Korean companies are facing increased pressure from the government to raise dividends, which are among the lowest of any large economy in Asia.
The South Korean won currency has also been strengthening and was hovering near a six-month high against the dollar in response to a more dovish outlook on the Federal Reserve’s interest rate stance, Economic Times reports. With the won currency strengthening, currency-hedged ETFs, such as the Deutsche X-trackers MSCI South Korea Hedged Equity ETF (NYSEArca: DBKO) and the WisdomTree Korea Hedged Equity Fund (NasdaqGM: DXKW), have underperformed non-hedge South Korea ETFs. Over the past month, DBKO was 5.5% higher and DXKW was up 6.5%.
iShares MSCI South Korea Capped ETF
For more information on South Korea, visit our South Korea category.
Max Chen contributed to this article.