A probe into a possible information leak prior to last month’s announcement of duty free shop winners has reveled that there was an information leak before the announcement.
According to the Korea Customs Service (KCS) and the Financial Services Commission (FSC), a KCS employee made a phone call to someone outside the KCS before the official announcement was made and tipped the person off about the inclusion of Hanwha Galleria Timeworld in the list of those selected to operate new duty free stores in Seoul.
On Friday, July 10 at 5 p.m., the KCS announced three winners of licenses to operate new duty free shops in Seoul. Hanwha Galleria Timeworld was one of them.
Hanwha Galleria stocks started to surge at 10:34 a.m. on the same day to close up a whopping 30%. In the following four days, Hanwha Galleria stocks continued to hit their upper price limits, skyrocketing 200%.
Rumors of an information leak swept through the stock market because shares of Hanwha Galleria, which had not been viewed as a frontrunner in the duty-free shop competition, shot up in the run-up to the official announcement.
As a result, the nation’s top financial regulator, the FSC, stepped in and launched an investigation into the allegation.
Denying all the allegations, Lee Don-hyun, vice commissioner of the KCS, told a local newspaper, “Landline and cellular phone services, as well as Internet connections, were blocked, so there was no chance of the information leaked beforehand.