WHAT IS 'Korean Composite Stock Price Indexes - KOSPI'

Korean Composite Stock Price Indexes (KOSPI) refers to a series of indexes that track the overall Korean Stock Exchange and its components. Each of the KOSPI indexes are capitalization-weighted market averages.  

The best-known of these indexes is the KOSPI 200, which comprises the 200 largest publicly-traded common stocks traded in Korea, tracking roughly 70% of the market value of the overall Korean Stock Exchange. The KOSPI 200 is used as a rough benchmark when investors or traders refer to the performance of the Korean Exchange. For this reason, and because its components are large-cap stocks, people compare the KOSPI 200 to the S&P 500 in the United States.

As of 2018, major KOSPI 200 components included consumer product maker Samsung Electronics, Hyundai Motor, semiconductor manufacturer SK Hynix, utility provider Korea Electric Power and Shinhan Bank.

BREAKING DOWN 'Korean Composite Stock Price Indexes - KOSPI'

Korean Composite Stock Price Indexes (KOSPI) first debuted in the early 1980s, with several variants rolled out in subsequent years, including the KOSPI 100, focused on mid-caps, and the KOSPI 50, representing small caps. The KOSPI also refers to a family of indices tracking specific industries including chemicals and banks, and the KODI index, which specializes in dividend stocks. Also, the KOSPI appears on several other products that track the prices of futures, options and sovereign bonds.

Note that while KOSPI refers to the entire family of indexes, many market participants call the KOSPI 200 simply the KOSPI.

History of the KOSPI 200

The KOSPI 200 began trading at the start of January in 1983 at a value of 122.52. Its base value, indexed to January 4, 1980, is 100. The KOSPI 200 rose more than 8-fold to a value of more than 1000 by April of 1989, roughly two years following the Asian financial crisis. The index value surged to 1997.06 by its 30th birthday at the end of 2012, trailing only the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and Taiwan Stock Exchange over the same time frame. The KOSPI 200 index stood at roughly 2,470 by mid-2018, up more than 20-fold since its introduction.

Notable dates for the KOSPI include June 17, 1988, when it gained about 8.5%, its largest one-day percentage gain. It also fell more than 12% on September 12, 2001, the day following the 9/11 terrorist attack in the U.S. The index closed above 2000 for the first time on July 24, 2007.

Analysts, market participants and the international financial news media all follow the KOSPI 200 to varying degrees. U.S.-based news outlets such as The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg, as well as London-based Reuters, owned by Canada-based Thomson Reuters, often quote the index, and use its values when reporting on market events in Korea.

  1. Korea Stock Exchange (KSC) .KS

    The Stock Market Division of the Korea Exchange — formerly an ...
  2. Kimchi Premium

    Kimchi premium is the gap in cryptocurrency prices, notably bitcoin, ...
  3. Indexing

    In the financial markets, indexing can be used as a statistical ...
  4. KPW (North Korean Won)

    The currency symbol or currency abbreviation for the North Korean ...
  5. Weighted

    Weighted is a description of adjustments to a figure to account ...
  6. Nasdaq Composite Index

    The Nasdaq Composite index is a market-capitalization weighted ...
Related Articles
  1. Investing

    The Top 3 ETFs to Track the KOSPI for 2016

    Learn about the best available exchange-traded funds that offer investors exposure to South Korean equities and that track the KOSPI 200 Index.
  2. Investing

    The Pros and Cons of Indexes

    Learn about the advantages and disadvantages of stock indexes and passive index funds. Discover how there is an opportunity cost to using index funds.
  3. Tech

    Why North Korea Hates The U.S.

    Here are the key reasons why North Korea hates the US and why their relations are so sour.
  4. Investing

    North Korean Sanctions Just Got Serious

    Seoul's decision to shut down the Kaesong Industrial Complex is a blow to the region's attempts at economic cooperation and peaceful coexistence.
  5. Investing

    5 Things You Need To Know About Index Funds

    Index funds, at their best, offer a low-cost way for investors to track popular stock and bond market indexes. But not all index funds are created equally.
  6. Tech

    Why Is South Korea So Important to Bitcoin Prices?

    South Korea is one of the largest markets for bitcoin traders worldwide, hence, its outsized impact on BTC prices.
  7. Investing

    The Top 3 ETFs For Investing in South Korea (SSNLF, EWY)

    Learn more about the small yet growing number of South Korea ETFs, which track the often forgotten Asian Tiger responsible for Samsung, Kia and Hyundai.
  8. Insights

    An Introduction to Stock Market Indices

    Lear more about the five most talked about stock indices and what makes them all different.
  9. Investing

    The One ETF To Own The Top Internet Company Stocks

    Grab a pie of booming online businesses in one shot! Here is the one ETF that lets you own stock in the top Internet companies.
  1. What are the pros and cons of using the S&P 500 as a benchmark?

    Learn about the advantages and disadvantages of using the S&P 500 as a benchmark for portfolio performance, and understand ... Read Answer >>
  2. How can I find out if a company I like is included in an index?

    Learn how to find out what indexes include a company's stock. Determine the importance of predicting future price movement ... Read Answer >>
  3. How do indexes determine which stocks are removed or added to them?

    Stock indexes are formed based on the kinds of stocks or financial securities they want to track. For example, the Standard ... Read Answer >>
  4. How are S&P 500 index components weighted?

    Learn about how components of the S&P 500 are weighted, and how this calculation favors certain stocks in being more representative ... Read Answer >>
  5. Which benchmarks / indexes track the automotive sector?

    Explore some of the major benchmark equity indexes worldwide that analysts and investors use to track the performance of ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Capital Asset Pricing Model - CAPM

    Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) is a model that describes the relationship between risk and expected return and that is ...
  2. Return On Equity - ROE

    The profitability returned in direct relation to shareholders' investments is called the return on equity.
  3. Working Capital

    Working capital, also known as net working capital is a measure of a company's liquidity and operational efficiency.
  4. Bond

    A bond is a fixed income investment in which an investor loans money to an entity (corporate or governmental) that borrows ...
  5. Compound Annual Growth Rate - CAGR

    The Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) is the mean annual growth rate of an investment over a specified period of time longer ...
  6. Net Present Value - NPV

    Net Present Value (NPV) is the difference between the present value of cash inflows and the present value of cash outflows ...
Trading Center