A type of mutual fund that invests in high-risk bonds will soon be available in the market with a tax benefit, as part of a policy effort to spur corporate financing, the financial regulator said Thursday.
The Financial Services Commission (FSC) said it will allow local financial firms to introduce the revised high-yield fund from as early as March 1 till the end of this year, following the parliamentary passage of the related bill at the beginning of this year.
A high-yield bond fund under local law must have 30 percent of its portfolio comprised of speculative bonds rated “BBB+” or below, or debts that invest in smaller firms listed on the newly set-up venture bourse KONEX. Given such components, they entail greater risks and higher returns.
The FSC has included a tax benefit of up to 15.4 percent per individual whose high-yield fund account doesn’t exceed 50 million won ($47,000) in total amount and is less than 3 years old.
In Korea, an investor can normally be levied up to 42 percent for financial income from mutual fund investment. The regulator’s move came as South Korea’s corporate bond market has deteriorated because of the prolonged global downturn, with ailing companies unable to raise funds on low investor demand for low-quality debts. (Yonhap News)