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South Korea to ease bank regulations within the year

In a bid toraise banks' appeal to investors, South Korea will ease "excessive"regulations on domestic banks within the year, The Korea Herald reported Oct. 7, citing Yim Jong-yong, chairman ofthe Financial Services Commission, or FSC.

The regulatorwill now regard loan loss reserves as part of banks' common capital stock.

South Koreais also planning to revise its law on earned surplus reserves, now requiringbanks to set aside 10% or more of dividends as reserves up to 50% of the totalcapital instead of up to a maximum of banks' total capital.

Domesticbanks will also be exempted from the duty of getting approval from thefinancial authority for starting new businesses and will no longer have toreport small overseas investments.