Individual investors uprising in South Korea to repel short-selling forces
From mid-January to early February 2021, Gamestop shares continued to fluctuate wildly in the US stock market.A major hedge fund called Melvin Capital Management announced that it would sell Gamestop shares short to lower the price, and individual investors in the U.S. responded by fighting each other, resulting in a s...
From mid-January to early February 2021, Gamestop shares continued to fluctuate wildly in the US stock market.
A major hedge fund called Melvin Capital Management announced that it would sell Gamestop shares short to lower the price, and individual investors in the U.S. responded by fighting each other, resulting in a series of wild swings.
Short selling, by the way, refers to "borrowing and selling" stocks that one does not have on hand through margin trading.
For example, it means to sell a stock short when it is expected to fall, and then buy it back when the stock price falls as expected to make a profit.
GameStop's stock price soared from $31 to $347 in one day.
Venture capitalists joined the fray, and from January 11 to 26, GameStop's stock price rose 642%.
In addition, Tesla's CEO, Elon Musk, tweeted in support of individual investors who were fighting the short-selling forces, which further boosted the stock price.
Unable to stand idly by, Korean Donggak Aris (Korean individual investors) also joined the fray, and it was like a war without a shot being fired.
On January 29, the Korea Depository Center reported that as of January 28, the total amount of game stop stocks settled through the depository was $102.74 million.
In terms of settlement value by stock, Gamestop rose from 40th place on January 27 to second place behind Tesla ($258.47 million) on January 28.
The buy was $5.22 million and the sell was $50.52 million. This drove Gamestop shares up to $500.
As a result, the hedge funds, the short-selling forces, raised the white flag and the individual investors won a great victory.
Of course, the market crashed afterwards, but there was a reason why Korean retail investors were willing to join the war.
In Korea, there is currently a ban on short selling.
On March 16, 2020, immediately after the Corona disaster, the Financial Services Commission of Korea decided to impose a time-limited ban on short selling in all listed stocks.
The FSC also extended the ban for another six months, and the ban was supposed to be lifted on March 15, 2021.
However, individual investors opposed to the resumption of short selling formed the Federation of Korean Stock Investors and declared war on the short selling forces.
Since February 1, they have been sending out a publicity campaign in which buses wrapped with slogans such as "abolish short selling" and "dismantle the Financial Services Commission" are going around important places in Seoul, and they are fighting against the short selling forces in solidarity with individual shareholders of the stocks in question, including Celltrion and HLB, which are the top short sellers.
Not only that, but as usual, they also petitioned for the "permanent abolition of the ban on short selling" on the website of Cheong Wa Dae (the presidential office).
In the end, the Financial Services Commission, having lost its patience, announced that it would extend the ban until May 3.