Exchange chief wants longer hours

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Exchange chief wants longer hours

As part of efforts to boost trading in the capital market, Choi Kyung-soo, chairman and chief executive of the Korea Exchange, said yesterday the nation’s bourse operator will push forward with a plan to extend regular stock trading hours. He said off-hour trading time also will be extended.

“Currently, off-hour trading is done after regular stock trading closes at 3 p.m. until 3:30 p.m.,” Choi said yesterday at a press conference in Yeouido, western Seoul to commemorate his first 100 days in office after succeeding Kim Bong-soo. “We can extend that to 4 p.m.”

He noted that any extension of regular stock trading hours requires discussions with related government officials and agencies, including the Financial Services Commission.

“Extending regular stock trading hours is related to industry labor conditions, so there should be some kind of negotiation,” he said. “We plan to negotiate and implement changes later this year or next year. I’m aware that there are pros and cons in regard to this plan in the industry, but I’ll make sure sufficient discussion takes place.”

There are six and a half regular trading hours daily at the New York Stock Exchange and eight and a half hours at the European exchanges. The Korea Exchange has six regular trading hours.

Meanwhile, Choi also said the Korea Exchange will lower the maximum level of bonuses for senior employees in response to the government’s request to cut costs at public organizations. It plans on lowering the maximum bonus rate from 100 percent of the basic wage to 60 percent.

By Lee Eun-joo [angie@joongang.co.kr]

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