NE Asia expert Bruce Kingner has a piece out on upcoming reforms to Korea's financial sector. Check it out:
The CMCA [Capital Market Consolidation Act] will liberalize the non-banking financial sector by eliminating the regulations that have restricted Korean financial institutions to a narrowly defined range of services. Existing legislation prevents South Korean firms from providing a variety of products, such as equities and derivatives trading, asset management and investment banking. The CMCA would replace six separate laws governing the financial-services sector as well as remove one-third of 300 existing regulations. The resulting integration of the capital markets will allow local brokers to eventually function as full-service investment banks. South Korea's financial sector would then be divided into three main categories - banks, insurance companies, and all other financial firms, including investment banks.
Seoul's advocacy of the CMCA is driven by four principal objectives: improving the international competitiveness of South Korean financial institutions; liberalizing the financial-services sector to make it a growth engine for the economy; improving the viability of the overall services sector to reduce the country's over-reliance on exports for its economic strength; and fulfilling Roh's vision of making South Korea the financial hub of Northeast Asia.
How will the proposed reforms play out? Read the rest for yourself and find out.