Korea Exchange still under state control
Published : Jan 31, 2013 - 20:09
Updated : Jan 31, 2013 - 20:09
The nation’s main bourse has not been excluded from the yearly list of public agencies, the Ministry of Finance announced Thursday.

In its unveiling of the 2013 list for public agencies, the Finance Ministry said the Korea Exchange will still be placed under state control this year. The government has “no stake” in the bourse.

While the ministry under the Lee Myung-bak administration designated it as a public agency in 2009, there has been growing criticism as no such case exists in financial markets overseas.

There was an allegation that the Lee government had sought to intervene in the personnel policy of the exchange by including it in the list. Government officials had cited lax management for the designation.

President-elect Park Geun-hye stated during her presidential campaign, “I will actively look into undoing the Korea Exchange’s classification as a public institution so that it can develop into a global stock exchange.”

The current Public Management Act, enacted in 2007, stipulates that the Minister of Strategy and Finance can designate public institutions applied to the Act.

“So far, many visiting foreign counterparts have been surprised to find out that the exchange is state-controlled. It is rare for a global stock exchange to be state-run,” a Korea Exchange executive said.

“Global stock exchanges, such as those in Tokyo and New York, are all independent of state control in management,” he said.