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Korea to set up OTC stock market for startups

[THE INVESTOR] An over-the-counter stock market for startups will be set up in South Korea as early as next month, according to the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning on Sept. 22.

The ministry and the council for the Center for Creative Economy and Innovation, a startup incubation center with offices across the nation, signed a memorandum of understating for the plan to establish the OTC stock market.

The planned launch of the OTC market is aimed at helping fund promising startups and accelerate mergers and acquisitions.

Korea Stock Exchange headquarters
Korea Stock Exchange headquarters

When the stock market, named KRX Startup Market, or KSM, is launched, individuals can buy and sell shares of unlisted startups on the over-the-counter trading market.

Startups that want to trade their shares on the KSM need to meet a list of requirements: They should succeed in raising funds through crowdfunding programs or need recommendation from state-run financial institutes such as Industrial Bank of Korea and Korea Development Bank.

“The KSM will serve as a springboard for startups to be listed on stock exchanges such as KONEX and KOSDAQ,” said Kim Seon-il, head of the council.

By Kim Young-won (