(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) The South Korean stock market ranks among the worst performers in Asia this year as concern over China's economic hard landing has pounded local exporters' earnings, data showed Wednesday.
The rate of return registered by the local bourse reached 3.5 percent through Monday this year, ranking 31st among 49 markets surveyed, according to the data released by KTB Investment and Securities Co., South Korea's news agency (Yonhap) reported.
Hong Kong and China ranked ninth and 23rd on the list with average return rates of 19.7 percent and 9.3 percent, respectively. Japan held a comparable figure of 5 percent, staying one notch above Korea, the data showed.
"Local exporters were hit pretty hard by China's decelerating economic growth, which accounts for 24 percent of South Korea's exports," said Huh Jae-hwan, an analyst at KDB Daewoo Securities Co.
China grew 7.4 percent on-year in the July-September period, down 0.2 percentage points from three months earlier. The stagnant performance of China has sounded alarm bells for Asia's export-reliant fourth-largest economy.
South Korea's export volume reached 555.2 billion last year, with China accounting for 24.2 percent of the total, more than two times the 10.1 percent share of the United States, industry data showed.
Malaysia and Taiwan, which also rely heavily on China, were the only two Asian countries which lagged behind South Korea on the list with return rates of 3.4 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively.
Meanwhile, the Filipino stock market held the highest rate of return among East Asian countries with 25.5 percent, followed by Thailand with 16.27 percent, mostly due to strong domestic demands, according to the data.