South Korea’s stock trading over the Internet

South Korea’s stock trading over the Internet surged to a record high last year as more investors resorted to smartphones and other online devices, data showed Tuesday.

The value of stocks traded online reached 2,468 trillion won (US$ 2.19 trillion) last year, up 18.3 percent from 2,086 trillion won a year earlier, according to the Korea Exchange (KRX).

Online stock trading refers to buying or selling shares using fixed-line phones, smartphones personal digital assistants or an online home trading system, the KRX said.

The amount of online stock trading in Asia’s fourth-largest economy soared to 1,926 trillion won in 2007 from 737 trillion won three years earlier, before it slipped to 1,588 trillion won in 2008 in the wake of the financial crisis.

Last year’s surge was attributed to a surge in the use of smartphones and tablet PCs among Korean retail investors. A touch of a few buttons enables individuals to search necessary information and trade equities. Cheaper fees for online trading by local brokerages also contributed to the jump, sources said.

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