South Korea to make financial markets more attractive, regulator says

South Korea to make financial markets more attractive, regulator says

SEOUL — South Korea will take steps to make its financial markets more investor friendly and attractive to foreigners, the financial regulator said on Monday.

The comments by vice chairman of the Financial Services Commission (FSC), Kim So-young, came at a meeting with foreign financial firms in Seoul to discuss ways of helping them expand business, in the wake of November’s ban on short-selling.

“The government will make various efforts to globalize the financial industry, especially to build a more favorable environment for foreign financial firms,” Kim said.

“In a broad framework, we will continue efforts to improve the attractiveness of the Korean market to foreign investors.”

Officials of 10 foreign firms, such as HSBC, JP Morgan, and Societe Generale attended the meeting, the FSC said.

Among the regulatory reforms South Korea adopted last year to boost foreign access to its financial markets was the scrapping of a 30-year-old rule that foreigners must register with authorities in order to trade listed stocks.

In November, however, it imposed a sudden temporary ban on stock short-selling through the first half of 2024, after authorities uncovered some illegal trades by foreign firms.

The step drew criticism that it would hinder foreign access and undermine market efficiency. — Reuters