Article: Coupang faces probe over alleged manipulation of search algorithms

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Coupang faces probe over alleged manipulation of search algorithms

julesmenten, 05 July 2021

According to industry figures with research knowledge, South Korea’s Coupang is being investigated for allegations that it has manipulated search algorithms to prioritize its products over its suppliers’ products.

The Korea Fair Trade Commission conducted an on-the-spot inspection last month at the headquarters of an e-commerce group in Seoul after being accused of abusing market dominance by increasing exposure to its own branded products rather than third parties. went. Continue reading “Article: Coupang faces probe over alleged manipulation of search algorithms”

Article: U.K Police Seize £114M in Bitcoin Tied to Money Laundering

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U.K Police Seize £114M in Bitcoin Tied to Money Laundering

Matthew De Saro, 26 June 2021

Scotland Yard announced the seizure of £114 Million ($158 million) from a suspected money-laundering operation.

The U.K.’s Metropolitan Police announced today the force’s biggest cryptocurrency confiscation to date and one of the largest in the world. The nearly $160 million dollars confiscated are more than double the amount seized by Scotland Yard in all of 2020. The money seized is allegedly tied to a money-laundering ring that officials have been investigating. Continue reading “Article: U.K Police Seize £114M in Bitcoin Tied to Money Laundering”

Article: South Korea Changes Course and Begins Investigating CBDCs

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South Korea Changes Course and Begins Investigating CBDCs

John Anlyt, 13 June 2021

The central bank of South Korea (BOK) announced this week the launch of a second specialist team to supposedly develop a digital currency central bank (CBDC) a year after dissolving their first group of researchers.

The entity said it will rededicate itself to studying everything related to the creation and implementation of a CBDC, and the formation of the new research group appears to be a direct response to China’s plans to issue a digital yuan.

The announcement surprised the crypto ecosystem as it signifies a turnaround in South Korea . A little less than a year ago, the BOK stated that there was almost no possibility of a CBDC in the country, which is why the cryptocurrency and digital currency research task force was dissolved .

The beginning of 2020, with China’s firm decision to launch its own CBDC, caused the BOK to change its stance on the issue and claim that it is now ” in the process of investigating ” the possible issuance of its digital currency.

The BOK clarified that its team of researchers will be small, with an initial appointment of eight members specialized in areas as varied as IT, human resources, economics and management.

Popular exchange LocalBitcoins has been suspending user accounts in some countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia without notice . As reported by Forbes these weeks, some users can no longer withdraw their bitcoins from the platform, who only communicated that it is due to a “process of improvements.”

The exchange made no further public comment on the matter. The first complaints began to be noticed last week , when LocalBitcoins users in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Syria and Pakistan expressed that they could not withdraw their Bitcoins without deleting their accounts.

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Article: S’pore police played ‘critical role’ in Interpol probe into online financial crimes; US$83m intercepted

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S’pore police played ‘critical role’ in Interpol probe into online financial crimes; US$83m intercepted

Zaihan Mohamed Yusof, 27 May 2021

SINGAPORE – Police in Singapore played a crucial role that led to 585 arrests and US$83 million (S$110 million) intercepted in an Asia-Pacific wide probe coordinated by Interpol that sought to crack down on online financial crime.

Voice phishing, romance scams and money laundering linked to online gambling were the “top three types of online financial crimes in terms of the number of cases”, the world policing body told The Straits Times on Thursday (May 27).

In voice phishing ruses, callers often impersonate authority figures to scam victims into providing details that would see them lose their money. Continue reading “Article: S’pore police played ‘critical role’ in Interpol probe into online financial crimes; US$83m intercepted”

Article: Asia’s Lopsided Economic Booms Store Problems for the Future

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Asia’s Lopsided Economic Booms Store Problems for the Future

Mike Bird, 03 May 2021

South Korea and Taiwan both reported better-than-expected economic growth last week, and in both cases it looks quite similar: Exports have boomed, domestic demand hasn’t. That has already caused some problems, which will be exacerbated if the trend continues unabated.

In South Korea’s case, exports of goods were 4.4% higher in the first quarter compared with the final quarter of 2019, before the pandemic hit. Meanwhile, private consumption spending is still languishing 5.5% below that benchmark.

It’s a similar story in Taiwan. Electronics exports in particular are up by 28.4% year-over-year, with net exports contributing far more to the overall 8.2% growth in gross domestic product than consumption. Continue reading “Article: Asia’s Lopsided Economic Booms Store Problems for the Future”

Article: Asia’s Lopsided Economic Booms Store Problems for the Future

Article - Media, Publications

Asia’s Lopsided Economic Booms Store Problems for the Future

Mike Bird, 03 May 2021

South Korea and Taiwan both reported better-than-expected economic growth last week, and in both cases it looks quite similar: Exports have boomed, domestic demand hasn’t. That has already caused some problems, which will be exacerbated if the trend continues unabated.

In South Korea’s case, exports of goods were 4.4% higher in the first quarter compared with the final quarter of 2019, before the pandemic hit. Meanwhile, private consumption spending is still languishing 5.5% below that benchmark.

It’s a similar story in Taiwan. Electronics exports in particular are up by 28.4% year-over-year, with net exports contributing far more to the overall 8.2% growth in gross domestic product than consumption. Continue reading “Article: Asia’s Lopsided Economic Booms Store Problems for the Future”

Article: Regulator to take stern actions against illegal short selling

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Regulator to take stern actions against illegal short selling

Yonhap, 03 May 2021

South Korea’s financial regulator said Monday the country will take stern actions against illegal activities involving stock short selling as it allowed a partial resumption of short selling after a 14-month ban.

The Financial Services Commission (FSC) partially lifted its ban on short selling of some listed stocks after it imposed a six-month ban on the trading strategy in March last year and later extended it to ease market routs caused by the pandemic.

Short selling is a trading strategy in which investors sell stocks they borrowed on the belief that share prices will fall in the near future. When the prices decline, they can buy back the stocks at lower prices, pocket the profit and return the shares to the original owner. Continue reading “Article: Regulator to take stern actions against illegal short selling”

Article: South Korea’s retail investor army declares war on short-sellers

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South Korea’s retail investor army declares war on short-sellers

Song Jung-a, 25 April 2021

Jung Eui-Jung, a former South Korean bank employee, recalls his bitter experience as a novice stock trader more than a decade ago, when he lost Won25m ($22,000) after the small metal group he invested in was delisted.

“It is the past that I want to forget. Back then, I didn’t have much access to information. I was bound to lose in an environment tilted against amateur traders,” said the 62-year-old head of the Korean Stockholders’ Alliance, an advocacy group that represents about 44,000 retail investors.

But the tables have turned over the past year as retail investors have emerged as the dominant force in South Korea’s $2tn stock market, accounting for almost 60 per cent of daily turnover. With that heft, amateur traders have become a political force, seeking to even the odds against professional investors.

Mom-and-pop investors bought a net Won63.9tn of Korean shares last year, compared with a net sale of Won5.5tn in 2019. That helped propel the benchmark Kospi index up 118 per cent following a coronavirus-driven sell-off last March, making it one of the best-performing markets globally.

Almost one-fifth of Korea’s population of 52m dabbles in stocks, and data showed local brokerages have amassed Won76tn in cash deposits.

“The market dynamic is changing fast with individual investors becoming a powerful force that even hedge funds should be afraid of,” said Albert Yong, managing director at Petra Capital Management, a Seoul-based investment firm.

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Article: Who’s manipulating the currency, US?

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Who’s manipulating the currency, US?

ET Edit, 22 April 2021

America’s decision to place India on its currency manipulator’s watchlist is ludicrous. The US Fed’s policy of keeping interest rates ultra-low, along with America’s allies in Europe and Japan, is responsible for both the dollar’s plunge and surging flows of capital to emerging markets, like India, in search of reasonable returns. These capital inflows make the rupee appreciate out of line with real economy concerns. Seen from India’s perspective, the US should be pointing fingers at itself when it comes to currency manipulation.

The US uses three benchmarks to judge currency manipulators: a bilateral surplus with the US of over $20 billion, a current account surplus of at least 3% of GDP and net purchases of foreign currency of 2% of GDP over a 12-month period. India met the first and the third benchmarks while its current account surplus has been below the threshold level. The country has a marginal current account surplus due to the Covid-induced economic contraction that dented imports. Else, India consistently has run a current account deficit (barring in 2004). Continue reading “Article: Who’s manipulating the currency, US?”

Article: Bitcoin’s ‘Kimchi premium’ slips as South Korean officials pledge action on illegal crypto market activities

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Bitcoin’s ‘Kimchi premium’ slips as South Korean officials pledge action on illegal crypto market activities

Kollen Post, 07 April 2021

South Korea’s government has pledged to focus on illegal activities in crypto markets.

The South Korean Financial Services Commission, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Justice, among other regulators, met on April 7 to discuss virtual asset trading. In their announcement following the meeting, the authorities wrote: Continue reading “Article: Bitcoin’s ‘Kimchi premium’ slips as South Korean officials pledge action on illegal crypto market activities”

Article: Fincrime Briefing: UBS pays to settle laundering probe, U.S., South Korea take down largest crypto-fueled child exploitation site, DOJ guidance on fines when you can’t pay, and more

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Fincrime Briefing: UBS pays to settle laundering probe, U.S., South Korea take down largest crypto-fueled child exploitation site, DOJ guidance on fines when you can’t pay, and more

Brian Monroe, 17 October 2019

UBS pays $11 million to settle Italian money laundering probe, tied to tax fracas An Italian judge has accepted a request by UBS to pay more than 10 million euros ($11 million) to settle a money-laundering investigation, ending one of the Swiss bank’s biggest legal headaches in Europe, just the latest in a series of international probes and settlements tied to financial crime and compliance failures.

UBS has been grappling with two separate probes in Italy and a court case in France over allegations it enabled cross-border tax cheats to hide assets in Switzerland.

The judge on Thursday accepted the payment of 2.125 million euros as “agreed penalty” to close the case while also seizing 8.175 million euros as profit from the alleged money-laundering, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.

The settlement, which by Italian law is not an admission of guilt, was requested by UBS in July, after a deal with Italian prosecutors. Last June, the Swiss bank paid 101 million euros to settle its other Italian case, a related financial investigation, with tax authorities. Continue reading “Article: Fincrime Briefing: UBS pays to settle laundering probe, U.S., South Korea take down largest crypto-fueled child exploitation site, DOJ guidance on fines when you can’t pay, and more”

Article: Draghi brushes off Trump accusation of currency manipulation

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Draghi brushes off Trump accusation of currency manipulation

EURACTIV, 19 June 2019

European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi said Tuesday (18 June) that the institution “doesn’t target the exchange rate”, shrugging off an allegation of currency manipulation from US President Donald Trump.

“We have our remit. We have our mandate. Our mandate is price stability” or inflation just below two percent, Draghi told a central banking conference in Sintra, Portugal.

“We are ready to use all the instruments that are necessary to fulfil this mandate, and we don’t target the exchange rate,” he added.

Draghi’s statement that weak economic growth and sluggish inflation could prompt the ECB to slash further rates already at historic lows had earlier sparked Trump’s ire.

“Mario Draghi just announced more stimulus could come, which immediately dropped the Euro against the Dollar, making it unfairly easier for them to compete against the USA,” Trump said on Twitter.

“They have been getting away with this for years, along with China and others,” he added.
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Article: Goldman Sachs affiliate again faces fine for naked short selling

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Goldman Sachs affiliate again faces fine for naked short selling

Bae Hyunjung, 09 April 2019

South Korea’s financial authority has fined a Goldman Sachs affiliate 72 million won ($63,000) for naked short selling, marking the third case of the US-based investment bank facing sanctions here.

The Securities and Futures Commission of the Financial Services Commission judged earlier this year that Singapore-based Goldman Sachs India Investments conducted short selling without securing underlying assets, officials said Monday.

Naked short selling refers to the sale of borrowed shares in order to profit by buying them back at a lower price, but without actually borrowing the stocks first. Unlike short selling, naked short selling has been prohibited in Korea since 2008. Continue reading “Article: Goldman Sachs affiliate again faces fine for naked short selling”

Article: Goldman Sachs Fined 7.5 Bil. Won for Naked Short Selling of Stocks in S. Korea

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Goldman Sachs Fined 7.5 Bil. Won for Naked Short Selling of Stocks in S. Korea

Yoon Young-sil, 29 November 2018

South Korea’s financial authorities have imposed the biggest ever fine on Goldman Sachs Group for its naked short selling activities.

The Securities & Futures Commission (SFC), an investigative body of the Financial Services Commission (FSC), decided on Nov. 28 to impose a 7.5 billion won ($6.65 million) in fine on Goldman Sachs Group’s subsidiary Goldman Sachs International for violating the short selling rules. Continue reading “Article: Goldman Sachs Fined 7.5 Bil. Won for Naked Short Selling of Stocks in S. Korea”

Article: (LEAD) Goldman Sachs fined 7.5 bln won for illegal naked short selling in S. Korea

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(LEAD) Goldman Sachs fined 7.5 bln won for illegal naked short selling in S. Korea

Yonhap News Agency, 28 November 2018

South Korea’s financial regulator said Wednesday it decided to fine the Seoul branch of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. 7.5 million won (US$6.66 million) for carrying out naked short selling, which is illegal here.

It marked the largest fine against a financial institution for violating the rules that ban such short selling in South Korea.

Market watchers had expected the Financial Services Commission (FSC) to slap a fine of up to 1 billion won against Goldman Sachs for naked short selling, which was carried out in late May. Continue reading “Article: (LEAD) Goldman Sachs fined 7.5 bln won for illegal naked short selling in S. Korea”