SEOUL, March 15 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korean conglomerates are considering revealing their key management decisions and other information in English to better communicate with foreign investors and help with their investment decisions, industry sources said Tuesday.
On Monday, the Korea Exchange (KRX) said it will ask some 170 companies listed on the country’s main bourse, 22 percent of the 770 firms overall, to voluntarily disclose their earnings results, forecasts and capital expenditure plans in English starting in April.
LG Electronics Co., Hyundai Motor Co., Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. and other companies said they will consider the request once they receive guidelines from the KRX.’
“Working-level officials are looking at the ‘English disclosure system’ to see if we can benefit from it,” an LG Chem official said. LG Chem is the country’s biggest petrochemical company by sales.
POSCO, Korea’s dominant steelmaker, said the system will allow foreign investors to easily gain access to the key management decisions of Korean companies.
Currently, listed firms and non-listed firms with a certain amount of assets are required to disclose their earnings reports, spending plans and other business-related information.
The KRX said it plans to adopt the English disclosure system for KIND, its own regulatory filing system. The Financial Supervisory Service, the country’s financial watchdog, also operates its own corporate regulatory filing system, known as DART.
“There have been requests from foreign institutional investors for the introduction of the English disclosure system in Korea. Foreign investors have asked for equal treatment to be given as their Korean counterparts when they make investment decisions here,” an official at the KRX Disclosure Department said.
Morgan Stanley Capital Investment, which is considering adding South Korea as an “advanced market” in its MSCI global stock indices, has reportedly requested Korean companies to offer more corporate information in English.