Tesla lures $2.8 billion from Korean day traders

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South Korean retail investors have bought a net $2.8 billion worth of Tesla Inc. stock this year amid the electric-vehicle maker’s worst slump on record.

Day traders have added $160 million in Tesla shares this month through December 27, on track for a third month of net purchases, according to data from Korea Securities Depository.

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They continued to buy even as the stock has tumbled 44 percent in December, headed for its worst-ever month.

Tesla remains the most popular overseas stock among Korean retail traders, who sharply increased investment during the pandemic.

Elon Musk has built a devoted fan base in the Asian nation, luring dip-buyers in its 2022 collapse on top of those who piled in as it soared over the previous two years.

Tesla supplier LG Energy Solution Ltd. has been a beneficiary as well, with Korean mom-and-pop investors pouring a record amount of funds into the battery maker’s initial public offering in January. LG Energy’s shares are up 46 percent since its debut.

South Korea’s retail investors have also remained loyal to their favorite domestic stock, Samsung Electronics Co., buying a net $12.3 billion so far in 2022. Shares of the world’s largest memory maker are down 28 percent this year amid the global tech selloff.

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