Article: Fines Imposed on Foreign Investors Engaged in Naked Short Selling

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Fines Imposed on Foreign Investors Engaged in Naked Short Selling

Yoon Young-sil, 18 September 2020

The Securities and Futures Commission has decided to impose a fine of 730 million won on four foreign asset management companies and pension funds that conducted naked short selling. The Korea Exchange detected the violation of the law prohibiting it during regular market monitoring.

Short selling is to sell a stock and then buy it back at a lower price. Stock borrowing must precede selling according to the current law on short selling.

According to the Financial Services Commission, the four organizations were wrong about whether they concluded stock borrowing contracts or were in possession of stocks and placed sell orders without owning or borrowing stocks. This occurred before the implementation of the temporary short selling ban in March this year.

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Article: Swiss franc climbs after US adds it to ‘manipulation’ watchlist

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Swiss franc climbs after US adds it to ‘manipulation’ watchlist

Sam Jones in Zurich and Eva Szalay in London , 15 January 2020

The Swiss franc nudged up to a near three-year high against the euro on Tuesday as markets anticipated the move would limit the Swiss National Bank’s appetite for aggressive action to try to hold down its currency in future.

“The report is a warning shot to the SNB,” said George Saravelos, global co-head of currency research at Deutsche Bank, adding that the franc is likely to push higher from here. It now trades around CHF1.08 against the euro.

The US called on Bern on Monday to “more forcefully support domestic economic activity” by spending money and reducing the country’s already low tax burden, in what was an unusual swipe at a sovereign nation’s financial affairs. “Despite borrowing costs for the Swiss government being among the lowest in the world, fiscal policy remains underutilised, even within the constraints of Switzerland’s existing fiscal rules,” the US Treasury said in its assessment.

The SNB said on Tuesday that its interventions were transparent, and “motivated purely by monetary policy . . . aimed at addressing the negative consequence for inflation and the economy through a highly valued franc.”

“They are not aimed at giving Switzerland advantages by undervaluing the Swiss franc,” it added.

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Article: Currency wars and the emerging-market countries

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Currency wars and the emerging-market countries

Richard Portes, 04 November 2010

The headlines shout “currency wars”. The US believes China engages in “currency manipulation”. The authorities hesitate to declare this to the US Congress, and the Secretary of the Treasury says “competitive non-appreciation” instead. China accuses the US of excessively loose monetary policy, flooding the world with liquidity. There is some truth in both charges, but some exaggeration.

This is one of the key issues facing the G20. Exchange-rate pressures, global imbalances and rebalancing, spillovers and the desirability of policy coordination – these are at the centre of the economic interdependence between the developed and emerging market countries. All this is in the context of weak US and European recoveries from the Great Recession, the risk of deflation, and the likelihood of more quantitative easing (QE) by major central banks. Domestic issues and inability to get direct action on exchange rates has led the US to propose internationally agreed targets for current-account imbalances. The wheel goes round – these proposals bear some resemblance to those of Keynes at Bretton Woods, which the US then opposed.

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