KOSDAQ-foreign buying

SEOUL, April 2 (Yonhap) -- Foreigners scooped up shares listed on the secondary market last month, data showed Tuesday, buoyed by expectations that the new government will bolster support for small- and medium-sized firms.

Net purchases by overseas investors on the tech-heavy KOSDAQ market came to 369.4 billion won (US$331.7 million) in March, up 5.9 percent from 348.7 billion won tallied a month earlier, the Korea Exchange (KRX) data showed.

The figure marks the highest net purchase since 701.4 billion won tallied in April 2004, the data added. Foreigners became net buyers of local shares for the third consecutive month on the secondary market.

Market watchers said the buying spree came as President Park Geun-hye, who took office in February, has vowed to boost small and medium enterprises in the country where family-controlled conglomerates dominate the economy.

The governments' plan to unveil an extra budget this month in order to stimulate the economy, which marks the first supplementary budget in four years, also heartened investors.

"Shares listed on the KOSDAQ market are expected to gather ground down the road until the second quarter on the firms' improved earnings and extra budget plans," said Chi Ki-ho, a researcher at LIG Investment