Lehman to offer onshore forex derivatives in South Korea

Lehman Brothers has transferred JS Kim, a senior vice-president in fixed income, from Tokyo to Seoul, in preparation for the launch of its onshore forex and interest rate derivatives business in the country, reports Risk’s sister publication, FX Week .

Kim will oversee a team initially consisting of four in sales and trading, mainly brought in from the US investment bank's offices in Tokyo and Hong Kong. The bank has applied for a licence to trade onshore derivatives in the centre, and hopes to receive it in December.

Kim's desk will target Korean corporates and will be primarily focused on interest rate derivatives. He declined to name the transferees, but sources close to the bank suggested they are Chuck Myong and Jae Yong Lee in Hong Kong and MS Jeong and Charles Woo from Tokyo.

Lehman is the latest bank to expand its forex business in Korea, following Citigroup's recent purchase of Koram Bank. The bank, which started trading with Koram as one entity on November 1, said it expected the purchase to boost its FX coverage in the country.

Brokers are also looking to the region. In October, Icap started a joint venture with Korean inter-dealer broker KIDB to broker forex and interest rate derivatives in Seoul.

The Korean won is scheduled to join the continuous-linked settlement service for settling foreign exchange trades later this year.

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