Korean FSC's advisory board finds $37 mn penalty on market makers too heavy

Park Yoon-ye, Kim Myung-hwan and Cho Jeehyun 2022. 6. 22. 13:48
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[Source: The Financial Services Commission]
A review committee of South Korea’s top financial policy-making Financial Services Commission (FSC) has found fining nine local stock brokerages for so-called unfair market making activities excessive.

FSC’s Securities and Futures Committee on Monday received the final opinion from its capital market advisory body upon studying of the independent financial watchdog Financial Supervisory Service’s recommendation of imposing combined 48 billion won ($37 million) fine on nine designated market makers.

The advisory body, consisted of officials from financial authorities and capital market experts, is said to have found the proposed penalty too heavy.

The top financial policy maker’s securities committee will finalize the penalty amount upon taking account of the advisory body’s opinion.

The advisory body had reviewed the case for nearly a month and a half, during which the financial watchdog had failed to present strong evidences that can rationalize penalties and possibly lead to a standstill in market making activities.

Nine securities firms acting as market makers in Korea have been accused of market abuse. As market makers, they are allowed to actively make calls for buying and selling a stock to facilitate smoother flow of liquidity in the financial market.

Last September, the financial watchdog accused the nine market makers of manipulating stock prices with frequent buy and cancel orders, as well as repeatedly adjusting price quotes. Such activities are considered illegal.

Currently, there are 14 securities are performing the market maker role for 332 stocks in the Kospi market and 341 stocks in the Kosdaq market.

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