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2024 Jun/28
Market Accessibility of Korean Capital Markets: Viewpoint of Foreign Institutions Survey Papers 24-02 PDF
This paper introduces the perspective of foreign investors and intermediaries regarding the market accessibility of Korea’s capital markets. Korea’s capital markets, by quantitative measures, belongs alongside developed markets. However, in major market indices, mainly the MSCI stock market index and FTSE Russell bond market index, Korea is classified as an emerging market. The discrepancy between the quantitative and qualitative aspects of Korea’s capital markets comes from the market accessibility assessment, used by MSCI and FTSE Russell.

In both the MSCI and FTSE Russell market accessibility assessments, foreign financial institutions play an important role in providing feedback that is used as input for market classification. To better understand why Korea’s market accessibility is regarded as being below developed country standards, interviews were conducted with major financial firms that invest and intermediate investment in Korea. The group includes global asset managers, banks, custodians, boutique investment banks, hedge funds, market makers, system traders along with ASIFMA and GFMA. The results of the interview reveals that various issues related to market accessibility are interconnected. In particular, areas of market accessibility that Korea falls behind in are not just rules and regulation, but process and practice. Interview participants emphasize that in order to improve Korea’s market accessibility, rules and regulations need to be applied more transparently and consistently. In addition, the most effective measure suggested to enhance Korea’s market accessibility is to improve communication between Korea’s financial regulators and industry with the foreign investor community.