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KRX plans to strengthen market monitoring: official

By Korea Herald

Published : March 13, 2012 - 19:32

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Bourse operator to take steps against trades aimed at tax evasion


Korea’s bourse said on Tuesday it would beef up its market monitoring as part of efforts to crack down on irregularities, many of which are related to tax evasion.

The Korea Exchange, which runs the country’s stock market, said it is now in talks with other government authorities to implement new monitoring rules aimed at uncovering trades made to evade taxes.

“The scope of market monitoring will be expanded to include those trades that have to do with accounts suspected of dodging taxes,” said an official in charge of the market supervision at the KRX.

Complex derivatives trades have increasingly been used for tax evasion. Alarmed by the signs that such trades might offer loopholes, the KRX is now taking a proactive measure.

The current market monitoring system at the KRX is limited to illegal and irregular trades. Once the bourse operator spots some suspicious accounts, it hands over the list to financial regulators and authorities, which investigate for tax evasion and other illegal acts.

The initial monitoring by the KRX, is not geared toward tax evasion, which could bring about problems if the tax dodgers successfully conceal their moves in the form of complicated derivatives trades.

Simplifying the procedures ― from the KRX to financial authorities and then to the tax office ― is also being suggested to speed up investigation into suspicious accounts.

However, the simplification of tax investigations related to stock trades requires a revision of the related law. The KRX said it would discuss the matter with the tax authorities to come up with a better solution including the revision of the bill.

Unlike those trades involving KOSPI 200, options and futures trade of individual stocks could be set up in advance with the purpose of transferring wealth in a clandestine fashion. In addition, other sophisticated methods based on new financial technologies and new products such as insurance policies are being deployed to avoid the market monitoring.

By Yang Sung-jin (insight@heraldcorp.com)