Sunday, March 16, 2008

President Lee demands sweeping deregulation

President Lee demands sweeping deregulation

SEOUL, March 15 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Lee Myung-bak said Saturday that the nation's financial and anti-trust regulators need to drastically ease regulations to invigorate the domestic economy.

"The Financial Services Commission and Fair Trade Commission should significantly change their mind-set," Lee told newly appointed officials of the two government regulators.

Lee, the nation's first president with business credentials, appointed Jun Kwang-woo, a former vice chairman of Woori Finance Holdings Co., to head the financial regulator. Baek Yong-ho, a professor of Ewha Womans University, was named head of the anti-trust watchdog.

Lee said that his strong will to soften regulations was behind his appointments of "people without a bureaucracy background" to head the regulators.

Lee, who started his single, five-year term last month, is counting on corporate investment to revitalize the economy.

The president has said he will scrap a law that restricts equity investment by big business conglomerates to 40 percent of net assets in affiliates. Lee's administration also plans to raise the cap on industrial conglomerates' holdings in banks.

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