KOR

Research Staff

Research Staff

Profile

Education
2007 ~ 2011 KAIST Business School Seoul, Korea
Ph.D. in Management Engineering (Finance concentration)
2005 ~ 2007 KAIST Business School Seoul, Korea
M.S. in Management Engineering (Finance concentration)
2003 ~ 2005 Seoul Natioanl University Seoul, Korea
M.A. in Economics (Macroeconomics concentration)
1998 ~ 2003 Seoul National University Seoul, Korea
B.A. in German Language Education and Economics
Professional Experience
2011~ Research Fellow, Korea Capital Market Institute
2009 ~ 2010 Lecturer, Kyung Hee University

Publications

Behavioral Economics and Investor Protection Senior Research Fellow Lee, Seokhoon and others / Mar. 09, 2021
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Corporate Payout Policy in Korea Research Fellow Kang, Sohyun and others / Dec. 23, 2013
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Changing landscapes of financial exchanges and its implications Senior Research Fellow Lee, Inhyung and others / Dec. 01, 2012
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Opinion

A Thought on Share Repurchase Arrangements and the Effect of Enhancing Shareholder Value / Oct. 06, 2020
Share repurchases rose sharply in Korea as the cap on the amount of a share repurchase was temporarily relaxed due to the stock market fluctuations amid the Covid-19 crisis. In general, a firm’s decision to buy back its own shares for the purpose of stabilizing share prices and enhancing shareholder value is welcomed by investors. However, not all stock repurchases produce the same effect. If the repurchased shares are later sold again in an open market instead of being canceled, this could make the effect only temporary. Hence, investors should keep a close eye on what happens to the repurchased shares. In another case, disclosures that look exactly the same could result in totally different transactions under the current regulation, which requires extra caution. Unlike direct repurchases where a firm directly purchases treasury shares, indirect repurchases via trust are virtually unregulated: There are de facto no restriction in place on the acquisition period, the purchase volume, and disposal of the treasury shares even within the contract period. Such a regulatory structure is likely to lead to uncertainties around whether or not treasury shares are actually purchased, or when the repurchase actually occurs, etc. Also this could weaken the intended effect of price stabilization, which is different from investor expectations. There are concerns that share buyback decisions during the recent market turmoil could be nothing more than a temporary measure for short-term capital gains, instead of pursuing long-term shareholder value. This calls for investors to better understand various share repurchase arrangements and to pay close attention to how and whether treasury shares are acquired, held, and sold. This will certainly help investors to better assess the effect of enhancing shareholder value. Also necessary is continuous discussion about how to improve the relevant regulation and disclosure rules for share repurchases to produce their intended effects.
Special Listing Tracks and Investor Protection / Mar. 17, 2020
Recently, there has been a pronounced increase in innovative firms entering the exchange market via special listing tracks. A total of 72 firms newly listed between 2015 and 2019 fall into that category, showing the clear dominance of special listing tracks in this market. Despite the critical role in helping promising firms with technological power and growth potential to go public, special listing tracks have been also the subject of concerns, especially with regard to investor protection. Financial authorities and the Korea Exchange have made continuous strides in working on regulatory fixes-tougher disclosure rules, higher accounting transparency, to name a few-with the aim to improve market soundness of new growth industries and to protect investors. As more and more firms are expected to tap into special listing tracks to go public in the future, it’s highly important to adopt a differentiated approach to evaluating and monitoring firms with various industry- and firm-specific characteristics. Investors, financial services firms, the Korea Exchange, and the regulatory body should join hands together to come up with flexible plans and ardent effort for a balance between innovative firms’ growth and investors’ active market participation.
Protecting Retail Investors based on Behavioral Economics / Oct. 22, 2019
Investors need to freely choose an investment product under the self-responsibility principle and bear losses and profits arising from their own investment. This premises that an informed investment decision has been made based on analyses of an investor who is able and willing to meticulously collect information and think it through. From the behavioral economics perspective, however, this is just an ideal situation that is hard to come across. In reality, a great number of investors don’t think much about the product composition, fees, risks, expected returns, their own asset portfolio, etc. before making investment decisions. Rather, they just buy what their bank recommends. When they directly select their own product, they often fall into the error, believing that past performance guarantees future returns. Behavioral economics admits human irrationality and incompleteness, and points to a practical pitfall where too strict application of the self-responsibility principle might jeopardize investor protection. This article tries to deepen understanding about the characteristics of retail investors based on behavioral economics, and explore ways for investor protection that would be effective in terms of information delivery and financial education. Going forward, Korea’s legislation of the financial consumer law is expected to lay down the fundamental framework for financial consumer protection. In line with the legislative effort, I expect more heated discussion on effective ways to protect retail investors via more attention and further research on investors’ behavioral bias.
Analysis of Reasons for Delisting and Korean Stock Market Integrity / Apr. 09, 2019
Delisting has been causing controversy these days. Delisting-related conflicts are likely to increase in the changing market environment where accounting firms are held more responsible for their audits and tighter substantive or qualitative delisting review is in place. It is time to find ways to reduce the delisting burden of companies and improve market integrity. Above all, appropriate exit routes should be provided to firms by revamping the market structure. Listed companies have three exit options to choose: leave stock exchanges and move to OTC markets, move to a less regulated market, or be sold to another company. None of the three choices, however, are readily available in the Korean market. Accordingly, it is necessary to come up with supplementary measures tailored to the country-specific circumstances, for example, revamping the regulated OTC market for distressed firms, supporting revival of delisted firms or smooth transfer to a lower-tier market with less stringent regulation and lower listing costs, and facilitating M&As for small innovative firms. In addition, persistent efforts are required for the exchange to gain market trust in its delisting decisions. Moreover, it should use coherent delisting criteria and provide sufficient grounds for its delisting decisions to companies and investors not to cause unnecessary controversy and market distrust. More importantly, efforts are necessary to reduce the burden of both the exchange and listed companies and to increase the reliability and integrity of the stock market.

Seminar Presentation

Research performance

[PUBLICATIONS] 
1. Information Content of Adjusted Implied Volatility in the KOSPI 200 Index Options Market (with Byung Jin Kang and Sun-Joong Yoon), 2009. Korean Journal of Futures and Options, 17 (4), 75-103. 

[WORKING PAPERS] 
1. Who is the Best Contributor to Recovery of Market Efficiency in the Korean Stock Market? (with Jangkoo Kang) 
Presented at the Eurasia Business and Economics Society Conference, 2010 
2. Does Trading Volume matter to Price Discovery? (with Jangkoo Kang and Robert I. Webb) 
Presented at the Korean Finance Association Joint Conference, 2011 
3. The Information Content of Treasury Auctions for Treasury Futures Prices (with Jangkoo Kang and Robert I. Webb) 
4. The effect of Order imbalances on Individual Stock returns of KOSPI200 (with Hokyung Park and Jangkoo Kang) 
Presented at the Korean Finance Association Joint Converence, 2010 
5. ITMs versus OTMs (with Sun-joong Yoon) 
Presented at the Asia-Pacific Association of Derivatives Meetings, 2010 
6. Common and Local Factors in Volatility Risks: Evidence from S&P 500 and KOSPI 200 Index Options (with Sun-Joong Yoon)