Attaching Assets in Korea: Security on Movable Property and Receivables in Korea

The Ministry of Justice has recently announced a draft bill concerning the securitization of movables and receivables. The Bill has been pushed for strongly by SMEs. SME’s have complained, since the 1997 Currency Crisis that they are unable to adequately capitalize at market rates. Representatives of the IMF, that I spoke with a few years back, also were very keen on this type of bill. They believed that this Bill

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Korea’s Data Privacy and Data Protection Law

Korea’s Personal Information Protection Act has replaced, in whole, the Public Agency Data Protection Act of Korea and, in part, the Act on Promotion of Information and Communications Network Utilization and Information on September of 2011. The new privacy law is one of the strictest laws in the world.   Please seek advice prior to engaging in any business where data of customer will be collected. Over the next couple

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Stock Options in Closed Korean Corporations

For stock options in Korea to be exercisable, thus valid options, the option must be approved, in most cases, at a general shareholders meeting of the Korean company.  If approval of the shareholders is obtained the articles of incorporation of the Korean company should, inter alia, note: An intention that a stock option may be granted in specified cases;  The number of shares to be issued or transferred in the

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Korea Legal News for the Week of August 25, 2013

This Week’s Korean Legal News Reported by Media Spy agency seeks arrest warrant against leftist lawmaker  N.Korea fires hawkish army chief  Seoul rejects ILO’s call for gov’t union  Senior tax officials banned from dining, golfing with conglomerate executives  Korean, U.S. defense chiefs discuss troop control transfer  Ssangyong makes major comeback  Kia Motors union stages 2nd partial strike  Hyundai to Build Car Parts Plant in U.S.  Gov’t to cut home acquisition

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Korea’s Data Privacy and Data Protection Law

Korea’s Personal Information Protection Act has replaced, in whole, the Public Agency Data Protection Act of Korea and, in part, the Act on Promotion of Information and Communications Network Utilization and Information on September of 2011. The new privacy law is one of the strictest laws in the world.   Please seek advice prior to engaging in any business where data of customer will be collected.   Over the next

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Yahoo Failed in Korea because of Cranky Korean Consumers?

Having worked in Korea market entry in one capacity or another for the past 15 years, I can assure you that making it in Korea can be more difficult than in many other countries. One can easily – and often correctly – blame foreign companies for giving the market short shrift when Korea needs to be taken as seriously as, say, Japan and China – the two neighbors that consistently,

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Korea’s Near Export Only Growth: Open the Service Sector

 According to data from the Bank of Korea, exports accounted for 57% of GDP for the first three quarters of the year.  In 1996, it was 27.7%, then hit  44.3% in 1998 with a steady increase ever since. The solution to the problem of Korea placing too much of its eggs in the export basket is to completely open the domestic market to real competition.   An article in the

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Top Ten Mistakes of Companies Doing Business in Korea

Our law firm has been dealing in Korea with foreign clients doing business in Korea of all shapes and sizes.  Surprisingly, we see many of the same issues from our multinational clients that we see from our SME clients, thus, we drafted this post.   TOP TEN ERRORS OF COMPANIES IN THE KOREA MARKET Lack of market research.  Selling in China, Japan, Malyasia, Singapore etc. is vastly different than selling

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Top 10 Conglomerates in Korea equals 76% of GDP

Chaebol.com has reported that the Top 10 largest companies in Korea account for over 76% of the Gross Domestic Product of Korea, while the top 30 companies on the Korean Stock Exchange account for over 59% of the value of the market.  The statistic is alarming to outsiders, but not surprising to those on the ground in Korea. Samsung:         21.9 % of GDPHyundai/Kia:   12.6% of GDPSK:                 11.7%LG:                 9% The

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U.S. Taxation of American Citizens/Permanent Residents Living Abroad

TAXES.  Everyone wants to avoid them and only a few people really know how.  This goes double for US citizens who earn income in China.  This is because the US taxes foreign income as well as income earned within the States.  Even worse, the IRS requires any US person with a financial account overseas to register it with the treasury department, as long as such account has held over $10,000USD

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Stock Options in Korea: Granting and Exercising Stock Options in Closed Corporations in Korea

For stock options in Korea to be exercisable, thus valid options, the option must be approved, in most cases, at a general shareholders meeting of the Korean company.  If approval of the shareholders is obtained the articles of incorporation of the Korean company should, inter alia, note: An intention that a stock option may be granted in specified cases;  The number of shares to be issued or transferred in the

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The Koreans are Coming: Hana Financial to Acquire Majority Share in U.S. Broadway National Bank

Hana Financial has announced that it will purchase 71% of Broadway National Bank’s holding company.  Broadway National Bank is a New York-based bank that tailors its services to Korean clients. Hana Financial is one of Korea’s largest retail and investment banks.  The main purpose of the acquisition is to expand Hana’s retail operations to the U.S. market.__________Sean Hayes, IPG’s Co-Chair of the Korea Practice Team, may be contacted at: [email protected]

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Korea and Myanmar Now Not as Far Apart

Good news for Korea and Myanmar.  Myanmar is anticipated to be a major investment destination for Korean companies.  Korean Air, realizing this trend, has launched the first non-stop flight from Korean to Yangon, Myanmar.  The flight will commence in early September of this year.   The flight time will, thus, be reduced from 10 hours to 6 hours. If the flight is well subscribed, expect Asiana Air to quickly follow

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Korea Merger Remedies by Korea Fair Trade Commission

Earlier this year, Korea’s Fair Trade Commission has announced the amendment of its rules on merger remedies through the Notice on Merger Remedies.  The amendment revises the prior Merger Remedies Guidelines.  The most relevant changes are listed below. The KFTC will, only, utilize behavioral changes when structural changes are impracticable or may be ineffective.  Structural changes, include, prohibition of a merger, divestiture and the transfer of intellectual property rights.  The

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Additional Mutual Saving & Loan Banks in Korea Operations Suspended by Korean Government

In a sign of more trouble in the second-tier banking market in Korea, four savings banks operations have been temporarily suspended by the Financial Services Service. The banks were ordered to increase capitalization within 45 days or face the risk of being forced to permanently suspend operations or sell their assets.  16 banks were closed last year.  These, previous, closings led to prosecutions and a bailout by the Korean government.

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Participating and Exchangable Bonds Issuance by Non-listed Companies in Korea

With the recent amendment of the Korean Commercial Code (KCC) and the issuance of the Presidential Decree for the KCC, Korea will now allow, when specific requirements are met, the issuance of bonds including redeemable and derivative bonds under article 469 of the Commercial Code of Korea for listed and non-listed companies.  Matters relating to issuance and management may be delegated to a commissioned trustee company.  Major shareholders, controlled shareholders

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South Korea to Buy Yuan-Denominated Assets

Heung-sik CHOO, director-general of the Bank of Korea (BOK) stated to Bloomberg that the BOK may purchase RMB-denominated (Chinese yuan) assets.  The news may trigger most Asian economies to consider more investments in China-currency denominated assets. At present, the only other developed country that has announced plans to invest in RMB-denominated assets with foreign currency reserves is Japan. The Director General noted that the BOK will begin by only investing

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Korean Economy Ranked as a Moderately Free Economy by Heritage Foundation

South Korea has ranked a mediocre 69.9 (moderately free) behind major regional allies and behind nearly 30 countries that are “free” or “mostly free.”  Korea ranks, rightfully, very low in the categories “freedom from corruption” and “labor freedom.”  Korea has an excellent ranking in business freedom and a mediocre ranking in all other major categories.   There has been no major change in Korea’s ranking for many years. Regional Rankingrank                      country                 

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Korea’s Starting a Company in Korea: Read:Economic Forecast by the European Chamber of Commerce in Korea and SERI

The European Chamber of Commerce in Korea published a great article by Mr. Chang-mok SHIN of the Samsung Economic Research Institute.   The article is very useful for companies wishing to establish an business in Korea and have based their feasibility study on less reliable forecasts.  SERI is not perfect, but they tend to be neutral and candid.  Mr. Shin predicts, in short, that: Korean Growth Rate in 2011 will be

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Korean Commercial Code Revisions Make Capital Reductions in Korea Easier

The recently amended Korean Commercial Code (KCC) will make it simpler for local and Korean foreign-capital invested companies to make nominal capital reductions. The law will come into effect next year. Previously in the KCC, there was no differentiation between a real capital reduction, in which assets are distributed to shareholders in proportion to their holdings, and a nominal capital reduction (also known as a reduction of capital “without consideration.”)

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