Yield seekers: South Korean investors search for higher yields overseas
South Korea has been attracting a lot of attention in recent years. Several conferences aimed at South Korean institutional investors have been offered by industry associations and commercial conference providers on a yearly basis. Unlike in other Asian economies, the main reason there is so much interest in South Korea is not the Korean domestic market, but rather the appetite of Korean pension funds and other institutional investors for overseas real estate investments. Like their brethren in other countries, Korean investors are having a hard time in the current low interest rate environment finding higher yields and profitable investments, which they need to meet their current and future liabilities for their often-underfunded pension schemes.
Related to the above, there is so much interest in South Korea because of the huge amount of capital — to the tune of US$200 billion — that flows into Korean pension funds on a yearly basis.