The Korea Stock Exchange, or KOSPI, is valued at roughly $1 trillion — with heavyweight Samsung (SSNLF) representing almost 20% of that total.
Of course, Samsung’s massive presence has weighed on the region lately. In the last 12 months, the iShares MSCI South Korea Index Fund (EWY) has declined about 4%, pretty much the same performance as Samsung’s stock.
But after the declines, there may be good value to be found. South Korean stocks that trade on U.S. exchanges have an average P/E of around 9.6 according to Finviz, and also trade at about a 40% discount to sales and a 40% discount to book value.
The EWY fund is about 20% allocated in Samsung if you want to play the region broadly instead of simply in the tech and industrial giant itself. After all, Samsung is clearly a global play and not just a Korean one.
Other options include Korean steel giant Posco (PKX), though admittedly this is much more of a global player and subject to commodity trends instead of South Korean growth.