South Korea’s benchmark stockmarket index, the Kospi, is typical of emerging markets: it is highly exposed to the global economic cycle. Cyclical stocks (which are particularly sensitive to these ups and downs) comprise round 80% of the index.
Market heavyweight Samsung dominates the consumer goods sector and accounts for almost a fifth of the overall market, while the car and car-parts sector, dominated by Hyundai, accounts for nearly a tenth. Industrial and technology companies, many of which are export-orientated, comprise another quarter of the Kospi.
Some personal and household goods groups, along with small utilities and health-care sectors, make up the defensive segment.