Government to ease regulations to boost M&AUpdated: 2014-03-07 06:30:42 (KST)
Late last month, Facebook bought the mobile messaging service WhatsApp for a whopping 19 billion U.S. dollars.
Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, described the five-year-old upstart company as an "incredibly valuable" service.
The Korean government is now aiming to promote similar mergers and acquisitions that help venture start-ups promote their products to more people around the world.
Finance Minister Hyun Oh-seok said Thursday that the government will streamline tax and financial support systems to remove regulations that hinder corporate M&A activities.
Hyun said the government expects the M&As to create a virtuous circle where venture start-ups can grow into global companies.
"The government will expand the size of a growth fund for the merger and acquisition activities of venture firms and small- and medium-sized companies to around 930-million dollars within the next three years."
With the set of measures the government has laid out, a report by the Korea Institute of Finance says the nation's M&A market is expected to nearly double by 2017 from the 65 billion dollars it logged last year.
To make that a reality, Hyun urged M&A market participants like companies and investors to make good use of the measures.
The finance ministry said the local M&A market has continued to shrink after the global financial crisis in 2007 and 2008, and that its size is smaller compared to other advanced economies.
It added that a sluggish M&A market prevents the kind of voluntary business restructuring that allows companies to focus their investments on core areas.
"The measures to boost mergers and acquisitions are in line with the three-year economic innovation plan laid out by the Park Geun-hye administration that looks for new growth engines to strengthen the nation's economic fundamentals.
Hwang Ji-hye, Arirang News.
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