Regulator imposes $19.6 mil. in fines on 2 foreign banks for illegal stock short selling

This file photo, taken Nov. 5, 2023, shows Kim Joo-hyun, right, head of the Financial Services Commission, and Lee Bok-hyun, chief of the Financial Supervisory Service, holding a joint press conference at the government complex in Seoul to announce a temporary ban on stock short selling. Korea Times photo by Lee Han-ho

The financial regulator imposed record fines Wednesday on two global investment banks (IBs) in Korea for illegal stock short selling.

The Financial Services Commission (FSC) said it has imposed a combined 27.17 billion won ($19.6 million) in fines on UBS AG and Credit Suisse Singapore.

UBS AG, while previously operating as Credit Suisse AG, 추천 placed naked short selling orders for over 160,000 shares of some 20 listed firms in the country between April 2021 and June 2022, while Credit Suisse Singapore placed naked short selling orders worth over 60 billion won between November 2021 and June 2022, according to the FSC.

The imposed fines “marked the largest amount imposed since the country introduced a fine system for illegal stock short selling in April 2021,” it said in a press release.

The financial regulator has been inspecting 14 major global IBs here since late 2023 after detecting illegal stock short selling activities at two investment banks.

The FSC earlier said it has since detected alleged illegal short selling activities at nine IBs.

Stock short selling has been temporarily banned since November 2023. The ban was earlier scheduled to be lifted at the end of June but has been extended until March 30, 2025

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