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(LEAD) Gov't to toughen regulations on accounting standards

2018/05/18 14:50

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(ATTN: ADDS comments on Samsung BioLogics in last 4 paras)

SEOUL, May 18 (Yonhap) -- Authorities will swiftly review financial statements and require accounting firms to submit transparency reports as part of its efforts to toughen rules on corporate accounting standards, the head of the Financial Services Commission (FSC) said Friday.

FSC Chairman Choi Jong-ku told a forum with accountants that authorities will step up their monitoring of financial statements and order firms to correct wrongdoings if they are found.

"It is no secret that trust of our corporate accounting is low at home and abroad," Choi said.

FSC Chairman Choi Jong-ku (Yonhap) FSC Chairman Choi Jong-ku (Yonhap)

If authorities swiftly review financial statements, it will help actively cope with the risks of accounting fraud, Choi said.

Compared with other advanced nations, South Korea still lags far behind in overall accounting standards.

To regain investor confidence, the government has drastically hiked fines against companies with accounting irregularities.

Under the latest accounting reform measures, chief executives of a company or an accounting firm will face "stern punishment" if they are involved in accounting irregularities, officials said.

On Thursday, financial authorities and Samsung BioLogics Co. held their first session reviewing a regulatory probe into the biotechnology firm over suspected accounting breaches.

In a regulatory filing on Friday, Samsung BioLogics said its U.S. partner, Biogen Inc., proposed boosting its stake in their joint venture, Samsung Bioepis.

The proposal cleared one of key questions surrounding Samsung BioLogics' sudden profit in 2015 and may serve as evidence to counter the alleged accounting breaches.

Asked about the regulatory filing, Choi declined to give an answer. Choi repeated that the review will be conducted in a fair and transparent manner.

kdh@yna.co.kr

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