The Financial Services Commission announced that a set of improvements to the rules on contract for difference (CFD) trading will take effect from September 1. The improvement measures include (a) provision of more transparent investment information to investors, (b) resolving the issue of regulatory arbitrage vis-à-vis credit loans and (c) strengthening protection for retail investors.
First, from September 1, information about the actual investor type (individual, institution or foreign investor) will be displayed and provided on Korea Exchange (KRX)’s trade data system (data.krx.co.kr) for CFD transactions. In addition, as in the case with credit loan balance, from September 1, CFD balances will be disclosed to enable the use of these data as a reference for investment. The overall CFD balance can be found on a website (freesis.kofia.or.kr) operated by the Korea Financial Investment Association. Meanwhile, information about CFD balances by item will be ready for viewing on HTS (home trading system) and MTS (mobile trading system) within September as each securities firm needs to finish up preparing relevant data network system.
Second, there are stronger investor protection measures taking effect from September 1. As a new over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives investment requirement, for CFD transactions, retail investors need to be verified of having sufficient investment experience by securities firms. Retail investors need to show that they have maintained a monthly average balance of KRW300 million or more for one year or more within the past five years for transactions of equity stocks, derivatives products or highly complex derivatives-linked securities. In addition, retail investors applying to attain the status of a qualified professional investor will need to go through an in-person verification process (including video call) conducted by a securities firm.
Third, CFD traders will need to deposit at least 40 percent of the amount of CFD trading as a requirement. The financial investment industry group will strengthen risk management on CFD transactions through best practice guidelines.
The financial authorities will closely monitor securities firms’ handling of CFD trading as well as their risk management and market trends.
* Please refer to the attached file for details.