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Kosdaq lobby group chief calls for incentives to lure blue-chip firms

Chang Kyeong-ho, chairman of Kosdaq Listed Companies Association speaks at an online press briefing on Tuesday. (KOSDAQCA)
Chang Kyeong-ho, chairman of Kosdaq Listed Companies Association speaks at an online press briefing on Tuesday. (KOSDAQCA)
The new chief of an association representing listed firms on South Korea’s tech-heavy bourse said Tuesday that the second-tier Kosdaq needs various incentives to attract more blue-chip companies and investors and prevent the exit of unicorn companies to bigger markets.

“The Kosdaq market has been regulated stricter than the Kospi market. Regulations such as issuing an ‘investment alert’ to protect investors unintentionally cause the market to be undervalued,” said Kosdaq Listed Companies Association Chairman Chang Kyeong-ho.

“The market needs to have its own identity of growth and innovation. To do so, Kosdaq-listed firms need to become global hidden champions. It is necessary to give benefits on tax deductions such as research and development, oversea patent applications and corporate taxes.”

Chang, who began his two-year term as the 12th chief of the group on Feb. 24, said making the Kosdaq market a reliable partner for the future and economic growth engine is the primary goal this year.

Although the chairman expressed regret at losing some blue-chip firms such as Kakao and Celltrion from the market, as they decided to transfer to the main board, he believed that Kosdaq-listed companies with new business developments can still leap forward if they receive policy support like Kospi-listed firms.

Chang highlighted that Kosdaq-listed firms have made a great contribution to the country’s economy, logging combined sales worth 241 trillion won ($213.2 billion) -- nearly 12.6 percent of Asia‘s fourth-largest economy’s gross domestic product. While their combined export amount is continuously growing, it marked 74 trillion won, about 11.7 percent of the country’s total exports.

“Many Kosdaq-listed firms already have global competitiveness. They have played major roles in taking the lead in industries such as bio, culture, materials, parts and equipment,” the chief said, vowing to increase the (listed) firms’ technological competitiveness even more by actively supporting environmental, social and governance model developments, as well as merger and acquisition activities.

By Jie Ye-eun (yeeun@heraldcorp.com)
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