South Korea Permits Domestic Hedge Funds to Use More Leverage and to Increase Investments in Derivatives

On July 27, 2011, the Financial Services Commission (FSC) of South Korea – South Korea’s SEC – made legislative notice of its proposal to revise the Enforcement Decree of the Financial Investment Services and Capital Markets Act (FSCMA).  The intent of the proposal is to enhance the speed and depth of development of South Korea’s domestic hedge fund market.  To do so, the proposal generally relaxes South Korean securities regulation with respect to who may invest in hedge funds, leverage and asset restrictions, who may manage hedge funds and the activities that prime brokers may undertake.  At the same time, the proposal also contemplates enhanced supervision and surveillance of South Korean hedge fund managers by the FSC, and enhanced reporting to the FSC by hedge fund managers.  On September 27, 2011, South Korea’s cabinet approved the proposal.  This article outlines the proposed revisions of the FSCMA based on available documents and correspondence between the South Korea FSC and the Hedge Fund Law Report.

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