More foreign financial firms than expected intend to participate in Korean FX market: authorities

October 18, 2023

More foreign financial firms than expected have expressed their intentions to directly participate in the South Korean foreign exchange market, the country’s currency authorities said Wednesday.

According to the Bank of Korea, some 30 overseas financial institutions seek to register with the country’s foreign exchange authorities for the trading of currency forwards, swaps and spots in the inter-bank currency market.

Under the latest measures, eligible overseas financial firms are allowed to directly participate in the local currency market without a branch here.

They will be allowed to start trading next year, and the central bank will monitor the trading of the registered foreign institutions (RFI).

South Korea has been making efforts to lift regulations and invite more foreign participants to the local foreign exchange market in line with efforts to attract more investment from overseas.

The country also plans to extend the operating hours of its foreign exchange market, which currently runs for 6 1/2 hours (9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.), to 17 hours, with it closing at 2 a.m. the following day, as early as the second half of 2024.