There’s more than one way to get into Samsung stock

By now you know Samsung — the ‘Apple (AAPL, quote) of the emerging world’, is going to be a behemoth holding in any large-cap Korean fund you can find. But the company’s vast shadow goes even farther than that.

Image courtesy Oskar Alexanderson: http://flickr.com/photos/39610980@N05

Samsung HQ in Seoul, Korea

If you’ve bought the MSCI South Korea ETF (EWY, quote) for its 23% direct exposure to Samsung stock, you’re not alone. The fund has swelled to $2.6 billion as U.S. traders angle for a piece of Samsung that would otherwise be nearly impossible to get on its own.

But the question for those traders is why they’re so interested in Samsung stock in the first place.

If you want the top company in Korea because you suspect the Korean economy is in a great position to outperform its rivals, then EWY is probably the way to go.

However, if you like Samsung stock for its high-tech leadership across the hottest consumer electronics categories on the planet — smart phones, tablet computers, big TVs — then presumably it’s the technology and not Korea that you’re interested in.

In that case, plenty of emerging market technology funds also hold massive concentrated positions in Samsung stock. The International Technology SPDR (IPK, quote) is almost as overweight Samsung as EWY is, holding a full 21% of its assets in the stock.

When you consider that the next most heavily weighted stocks in IPK are Germany’s SAP (SAP, quote) and Japanese printer giant Canon (CAJ, quote) and that each are “only” 6% to 7% of the fund, you start to get a better sense of just how big Samsung really is in the non-U.S. technology universe.

In theory, with IPK and a NASDAQ-heavy counterpart like QQQ (quote) you should have global exposure to the entire tech sector, dominated of course by Samsung and AAPL.

From there, you have a few options that fine-tune the foreign side in terms of geography, but all are fairly Samsung-rich.

AAIT (quote) buys computing stocks from all over Asia. No surprise, Samsung stock is the top holding at 17.58% of the fund.

Its cousin AXIT (quote) is global in focus, so the addition of European stocks dilutes Samsung’s presence to 14%.

Finally, Samsung is so big that you can get a huge slice of it simply by buying a global market-weighted fund. The company accounts for nearly 16% of the all-Asia stock fund AIAI (quote), 9.8% of global mega-cap fund EMFT (quote) and 6% of PAF (quote).

  • Rippyphilllips

    nice article …insightful