Five brokerage firms have received approval from financial authorities to operate as investment banks.
The Financial Services Commission(FSC) held a meeting on Monday and decided to issue the licenses to Mirae Asset Daewoo Securities, NH Investment and Securities, Korea Investment and Securities, Samsung Securities and KB Securities.
However, Korea Investment and Securities was the only company permitted to issue short-term financing, a major part of investment banking.
The decision comes more than six years after the FSC announced plans to diversify the corporate fundraising sector by turning local brokerages into mega-sized investment banks.
A key requirement for the license was equity capital of more than four trillion won, which all five brokerages fulfilled.
FSC chief Choi Jong-ku said that only one securities firm was granted permission to issue short-term financing this time, but the regulator will screen the other four firms as soon as the Financial Supervisory Service completes a review of them.
Brokerages granted the right may issue promissory notes worth up to twice their capital with a maturity of up to one year.