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South Korea to extend forex trading hours, simplify rules for foreign traders

South Korea to extend forex trading hours, simplify rules for foreign traders
© Reuters.

South Korea is gearing up to implement substantial modifications to its foreign-exchange (forex) trading regulations with the aim of invigorating its money market, announced the Ministry of Economy and Finance on Tuesday. The revised regulations, set to take effect from October 4, 2023, are anticipated to more than double the daily trading hours and streamline rules for international traders.

Under the forthcoming regulations, the South Korean forex market’s operating hours will be extended from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. on weekdays. This is a significant expansion from the current closing time of 3:30 p.m., providing a broader window for both domestic and global market participants.

The updated regulations will also allow non-Korean financial institutions to engage in the domestic forex market without the requirement of establishing a local branch in South Korea. This marks a considerable departure from the existing policy that necessitates foreign registered entities to open a branch in order to qualify as a forex trader in the nation.

The goal of this regulatory revamp is to provide improved access for foreign financial institutions and their clients to the local forex market, according to the Ministry’s statement.

The restricted scope of forex trading in South Korea has been a persistent hurdle in the nation’s pursuit of achieving ‘developed market’ status by MSCI. The impending changes are expected to lure more foreign capital and could potentially expedite its push towards this upgrade.

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