South Korea fines three global hedge funds over alleged unfair transactions

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korean authorities said on Wednesday they have fined three global hedge funds a total of 2 billion won ($1.54 million) over alleged unfair stock transactions.

The hedge funds are accused of violating the country’s capital markets law and conducting alleged naked short selling, the Financial Services Commission said in a statement.

The authorities did not disclose which hedge funds were involved in the transactions.

The Financial Services Commission said it would send the case to prosecutors for investigation.

Wednesday’s fines follow the government’s March decision to fine two global firms for naked short selling in the local stock market, for the first time under a new set of regulations.

South Korea on Nov. 5 said it is banning stock short-selling until June 2024 to improve rules and systems, inviting criticism that it will make the market less transparent and reduce liquidity at a time when the government is working to convince MSCI to promote South Korea from an emerging to a developed market in its next annual market classification review.

($1 = 1,301.3100 won)

(Reporting by Cynthia Kim, Soo-hyang Choi; Editing by Toby Chopra)