Democratic Party of Korea presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung (center) speaks during a conference held at the Korea Exchange on Thursday. (Yonhap)
The presidential candidate of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea said Thursday that he would push for winning a developed market status for South Korea from Morgan Stanley Capital International to revive the undervalued stock market here, if elected.
“The price-earnings ratio in the domestic stock market is about one-third compared to other advanced economies. We must mitigate the so-called ‘Korea discount,’” Lee Jae-myung said during a conference with a group of reporters at the Korea Exchange.
The Korea discount refers to the undervaluing of the local stock market by foreign and institutional investors in fear of the nation’s geopolitical instability and governance issues involving family-owned conglomerates.
Due to a series of negative factors that have left the market undervalued, local companies are experiencing difficulties in raising funds and Koreans’ opportunities of increasing assets have been reduced, according to the ruling Democratic Party’s presidential candidate.
He highlighted that upgrading the domestic market’s status from its current “emerging” status to “developed” with the MSCI is necessary, and the achievement should be made swiftly in earnest.
At the conference, Lee also vowed countermeasures to beef up minority shareholder rights, suggesting tax incentives for long-term individual investors.
By Jie Ye-eun (firstname.lastname@example.org