MCSI developed market status sought to overcome discountKorea plans to again push to win developed market status from Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI), the finance minister has said, amid expectations that a possible upgrade could help dispel the undervaluation of the Korean stock market.
Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki made the remarks Monday in London at an investor relations session with global investors to explain his country's economic situation.
Hong said the government will make efforts to win the MSCI's developed market status as the global index provider will have its annual review in June next year. Korea remains on the list of emerging markets.
"In light of the Korean economy's situations and foreign investor views about Korea, the government thinks Korea deserves to win the developed market status," Hong said.
He said the possible upgrade will help boost stability in the Korean stock market and dispel the so-called Korea Discount, the undervaluation of the Korean stock market due to geopolitical risks.'
In June, MSCI again classified the Korean stock market as a country on the list of emerging markets.
For the upgrade to the developed-market status, a country should be first placed on the watch list for at least one year. In 2008, Korea was placed on the list but failed to be granted the status later.
Korea has been even excluded from the watch list since 2014. MSCI cited the absence of an offshore currency market for the Korean currency as one of the main reasons for its decision to retain Korea in the emerging market category.
The government said the Korean currency's convertibility into other currencies has been sharply enhanced compared with the past as the won has become one of the highly traded currencies.
Trading in the offshore non-deliverable forward (NDF) market remains high, which enables foreign investors to effectively engage in foreign exchange trading 24 hours a day, it said.
If Korea is included in MSCI's developed market list, up to 61 trillion won ($52 billion) worth of foreign funds could flow into the Korean stock markets, according to a report by the Korea Economic Research Institute.
In 2009, global equity index compiler Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE) upgraded Korea into the developed market category.
Meanwhile, Hong said South Korea will redouble efforts to minimize the fallout from global supply chain strains on the Korean economy.
He said the government is exploring measures with companies to produce auto chips in a bid to tackle a global shortage of automobile chips.
The growth of Korea's exports of autos slowed in the third quarter from three months earlier as the shortage of auto chips dented vehicle output.
Exports of cars rose 4.2 percent on-year to $9.7 billion in the July-September period, slowing from a 71.9 percent gain in the second quarter, according to customs data. Autos accounted for some 7 percent of Korea's exports. Yonhap