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The Korea Exchange (KRX), South Korea's bourse operator, said Tuesday it will
forge stronger ties with emerging markets this year and export its operating
systems to modernize their stock market systems.
"We will continue to pursue overseas expansion, which will help the main bourse increase its presence in the global market," KRX Chairman Kim Bong-soo said in a meeting with reporters.
Kim said the move also comes as the Tokyo Stock Exchange, the world's fourth-largest bourse operator, merged with the Osaka Securities Exchange as of January to move one notch up and became a bigger rival to the KRX.
The KRX ranks 15th among global peers as of November 2012 in terms of combined market capitalization of firms listed on its stock markets.
"The KRX is having working-level discussions with counterparts in Belarus and Azerbaijan to export stock market operating systems, and has already signed memorandums of understandings with them," said Ahn Sang-hwan, a KRX official.
"We are also setting sight on African countries like Morocco, and South American countries such as Peru," Ahn said. "We are seeking opportunities in the Mideast, too."
The bourse operator has previously made investments in the form of owning stakes when it clinched deals with Laos and Cambodia in 2009 to export its stock market operating system.
The Lao Securities Exchange was launched in January 2011, while the Cambodia Securities Exchange began to operate in April last year.
Meanwhile, the KRX added it will also make efforts to open the Korea New Exchange (KONEX) within this year to better support smaller firms in raising capital and selling shares.
While the country's main bourse operator will continue to operate the benchmark KOSPI and the tech-heavy KOSDAQ market, the KONEX will also serve to foster growth of small and mid-sized companies, the KRX said.