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Finance minister vows to revamp financial regulations, meet 'global standard'

All News 09:00 January 20, 2023

By Kang Yoon-seung

SEOUL, Jan. 20 (Yonhap) -- South Korean Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho reaffirmed his call to revamp local financial rules to meet "global standards" and attract more foreign investors, the finance ministry said Friday.

Choo made the remark during a session co-hosted by the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Thursday (Swiss time), underscoring the importance of building an investor-friendly market environment, according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

To this end, Choo said South Korea will seek to abolish the registration system for foreigners, in which they are required to file personal information to the Financial Supervisory Service before purchasing listed South Korean stocks.

South Korea will also consider extending its foreign-exchange trading hours, the finance minister said.

Currently, South Korean securities and foreign exchange markets run from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Earlier this month, the finance minister hinted the trading hours could be extended to 2:00 a.m., beginning as early as the second half of 2024.

Choo said South Korea will also make efforts to become included in the World Government Bond Index (WGBI) as well.

The WGBI, operated by FTSE Russell, is a broad index designed to measure the performance of government bond markets, including local currencies and sovereign bonds of major advanced nations.

Choo met Lieve Mostrey, the head of Euroclear, a major international central securities depository, to discuss possible cooperation amid South Korea's efforts to be included in the WGBI.

Choo said South Korea maintains robust fundamentals and is capable of dealing with challenging external conditions.

The finance minister suggested that Asia's No. 4 economy is expected to post an annual current account surplus of $20 billion for this year.


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