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South Korea cracks down on two global banks with penalties.

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TLDR:

South Korea’s financial regulator has announced that it will impose penalties on two global investment banks that were found to be engaged in the practice of naked short-selling transactions. The investigation is part of a wider probe into global investment banks in order to eliminate illegal short-sellers from the local stock market.

Key points:

  • The Financial Services Commission of South Korea has revealed that it plans to penalize two unnamed global investment banks that were involved in naked short-selling transactions. Naked short-selling is the practice of selling shares without first borrowing them.
  • This move is part of a larger investigation that South Korea has been conducting into global investment banks with the aim of removing illegal short-sellers from the local stock market.

South Korea has been cracking down on short-selling since October 2023, when it temporarily banned the practice as part of efforts to stabilize the stock market. The ban has since been lifted but the investigation into short-selling practices continues.

Short-selling is a controversial practice that involves selling borrowed shares in the hope of profiting from a decline in their price. Naked short-selling, in particular, is seen as more risky and potentially harmful to the market as it involves the selling of shares that have not even been borrowed. It can artificially inflate supply and drive down prices, leading to market manipulation.

The penalties that will be imposed on the two global banks have not yet been disclosed, but it is expected that they will serve as a warning to other financial institutions operating in South Korea. The Financial Services Commission has stated that it will continue to investigate and penalize any illegal short-selling activities in the market.

The crackdown on illegal short-selling is part of South Korea’s broader efforts to protect investors and ensure the stability of the stock market. Regulators are keen to prevent market manipulation and enhance transparency in order to maintain investor confidence.

This move by South Korea’s financial regulator is likely to send a strong message to global investment banks operating in the country. It demonstrates the government’s commitment to maintaining a fair and regulated market and sets a precedent for future enforcement actions.

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