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In quick: international investment decision review treatment in South Korea

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Jurisdictional thresholds

What jurisdictional thresholds cause a evaluate or software of the regulation? Is submitting required?

If an financial commitment constitutes a international expense, the Overseas Investment decision Advertising Act (FIPA) applies. In this circumstance, an investor have to file a overseas financial investment report, make an investment decision and then entire a formal registration.

The adhering to thresholds apply:

  • (1) wherever a foreigner obtains existing or recently issued shares of a Korean corporation (including a company in the method of getting established up) to establish a ongoing financial connection with that Korean enterprise, these types of as participating in the administration of the organization, (2) wherever a foreigner invests at minimum 100 million gained in a Korean firm and (3) wherever a foreigner owns at minimum 10 for each cent of either the complete number of voting shares issued by a Korean organization or its overall equity expenditure and dispatches or appoints an government officer to the Korean enterprise
  • where by an existing overseas investor or overseas mother or father company presents very long-time period loans with a maturity of five decades or more time to a foreign-invested corporation
  • where a foreigner contributes to a non-gain corporation in the subject of science and technologies to establish a continual cooperative romance with the corporation
  • exactly where a international-invested company makes use of unappropriated retained earnings for the goal of setting up or increasing the firm’s manufacturing facility services, workplaces, investigation amenities, etc, or buying money items, study devices, and so on, required for conducting its company or
  • other contributions to a non-earnings corporation by a foreigner that the International Financial commitment Committee recognises as a foreign investment decision exactly where the foreigner contributes at least 50 million gained, accounting for at the very least 10 for every cent of the full total of contributions.


For any other overseas forex or cross-border transaction the Foreign Exchange Transactions Act (FETA) applies, and the transaction is issue to reporting prerequisites for acquisitions of securities.

Filing beneath the FIPA or the FETA is obligatory.

National interest clearance

What is the course of action for getting nationwide fascination clearance of transactions and other investments? Are there any filing expenses? Is submitting mandatory?

Any report to be designed with regard to overseas expenditure beneath the FIPA shall be filed with possibly the Korea Trade-Financial commitment Marketing Agency (KOTRA) or a overseas exchange bank (ie, a industrial lender) along with the supporting paperwork expected thereunder. Amid the paperwork demanded are individuals that:

  • clearly show the identity of a international trader (eg, a business enterprise registration certificate)
  • proof that the overseas expense specifications are contented (eg, underlying contracts) and
  • demonstrate that needs for outstanding write-up-reporting are fulfilled, if relevant.


Any application for acceptance of the foreign expense below the FIPA must be submitted to the Minister of Trade, Marketplace and Power with the expected supporting files.

If a foreign investor acquires stocks or equity passions in a Korean company, the investor need to report the acquisition of securities to a overseas exchange financial institution or, in excellent situations, to the Financial institution of Korea. This report have to include, inter alia, documents displaying the pertinent parties’ identities (eg, business registry extracts, seal certificates of reps) and fundamental contracts in addition to the report by itself.

The aforementioned experiences and apps are mandatory. There is no filing charge.

Which bash is accountable for securing acceptance?

A overseas investor is liable for submitting a international investment decision report underneath the FIPA or a report on the acquisition of securities less than the FETA. It is on the foundation of these reviews that acceptance is specified.

Evaluation course of action

How extended does the evaluation course of action just take? What elements identify the timelines for clearance? Are there any exemptions, or any expedited or ‘fast-track’ possibilities?

A evaluation of a foreign expenditure report beneath the FIPA or foreign trade report beneath the FETA can be, at minimum in theory, concluded on the day of filing. Nonetheless, an approval procedure for a overseas investment decision in a defence company can acquire up to 30 times.

Will have to the critique be accomplished prior to the events can near the transaction? What are the penalties or other outcomes if the events put into action the transaction in advance of clearance is obtained?

As a general theory, a overseas expenditure report have to be designed prior to closing. However, a put up-closing report is allowed where:

  • a foreigner acquires present shares issued by a shown inventory company
  • a overseas investor acquires shares issued on capitalising reserves, revaluation reserves or other reserves of the suitable foreign-invested organization
  • a foreign investor acquires shares of a surviving corporation or a newly included company right after a merger, all-inclusive share swap or transfer, or spinoff by indicates of shares the overseas investor is keeping at the time of the applicable foreign-invested company’s merger, all-inclusive share swap or transfer with an additional business, or spin-off
  • a foreigner acquires shares of a registered international-invested business by signifies of a obtain, an inheritance, a testamentary reward or a gift from a overseas investor
  • a overseas trader acquires shares by investing the proceeds from the shares obtained in accordance with relevant guidelines or
  • a foreigner acquires shares employing convertible bonds, exchangeable bonds, stock depositary receipts or other related usually means.


Similarly, a report on the acquisition of securities below the FETA have to be filed prior to closing.

Getting present shares of a Korean corporation without having submitting a overseas expense report pursuant to the FIPA is punishable by imposition of a fantastic not exceeding 10 million won. If a overseas trader acquires shares of a defence sector business without the need of correct approval, the overseas trader simply cannot workout his or her voting legal rights, and may possibly be purchased to transfer the shares to a Korean nationwide or company and may be topic to imprisonment of up to a single year or a good not exceeding 10 million received. The foreign investor’s organization may possibly also be subject matter to a high-quality.

Foreign currency and cross-border transactions are subject to the FETA until or else specified in the FIPA. If the requisite report on the acquisition of securities under the FETA was not filed, a warning from the Minister of Tactic and Finance may possibly be issued if the related sum is less than US$20,000, and recurring violations may possibly outcome in suspension or restriction of the pertinent transactions.

Even more, if the related amount of money is fewer than 1 billion won, a fantastic of not far more than 100 million gained might be imposed, and if it is more than 1 billion gained, the perpetrator may be punished by imprisonment for up to a person 12 months or be issued a wonderful of up to 100 million gained. Securities obtained can also be confiscated or the equivalent benefit gathered. The international investor’s business could also be subject matter to a good.

In addition to authorized sanctions, a overseas trader would also practical experience practical troubles as payments to and within just Korea would be limited, and potential abroad remittance of the applicable profits would also be limited.

Involvement of authorities

Can formal or informal guidance from the authorities be received prior to a submitting getting created? Do the authorities anticipate pre-filing dialogue or meetings?

Devote KOREA, a nationwide expenditure marketing agency, was established in KOTRA to guidance the thriving entry and institution of international firms in Korea. It presents, between other matters, advance session providers for foreign investors. No individual pre-submitting dialogue or meeting is needed with respect to a report or application for acceptance of foreign financial commitment or a international trade report.

When are government relations, general public affairs, lobbying or other specialists designed use of to help the assessment of a transaction by the authorities? Are there any other lawful informal strategies to facilitate or expedite clearance?

A evaluate of most foreign investment decision studies under the FIPA or foreign trade stories under the FETA can be, at the very least in theory, accomplished on the day of filing or inside of a few days of the submitting. Consequently, there is no official technique to facilitate or expedite clearance underneath pertinent legislation. Also, in apply, no casual strategies of this nature are recognised.

What article-closing or retroactive powers do the authorities have to critique, obstacle or unwind a transaction that was not in any other case topic to pre-merger overview?

Failure to make a submitting less than the FIPA or the FETA does not grant the authorities article-closing or retroactive powers to critique, problem or unwind a transaction that was not or else issue to pre-merger evaluation. Nonetheless, if the needed filings were being not produced appropriately, a foreign investor would have hassle making investments as payments into and from Korea are limited, and the investor could also be issue to administrative or felony sanctions, or each.

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27 Oct 2020. | Newsphere by AF themes.