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Despite malaise, brokerages expand networks overseas

July 18,2008
Businesses all over the world might be feeling an economic pinch these days, but local brokerages are actively expanding overseas, according to the association of brokerages.

The Korea Securities Dealers Association said yesterday in a release that the number of overseas operations run by local brokerages rose 54 percent from 33 to 51 between June 2007 and June 2008.

Among the 51, there were 27 corporations, one regional branch and 23 regional offices. In June 2007, the numbers were 20, 1 and 12, respectively. Corporations and branches are allowed to do business in the country in which they are based, while regional offices are not.

The offices are limited to supplementary roles such as market research. As of last month, overseas brokerage operations were distributed across 12 cities in 10 countries, compared with seven cities in six countries a year ago. In the past, brokerages focused on advanced markets such as New York, London and Hong Kong.

But now they are expanding into emerging markets in Asia such as Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Indonesia, Cambodia, China and Singapore.

“Recent efforts by local brokerages to expand overseas are desirable as they diversify profit sources and raise global competitiveness,” said Kang Seok-hoon, a senior official at the association. “But rather than sticking to saturated regions, they need to find places that make the best use of their potential through a thorough survey of emerging markets.”

The association said it will support overseas expansion by brokerages by augmenting a research center founded for the purpose in September.


By Moon Gwang-lip Staff Reporter [joe@joongang.co.kr]



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