CLS to include South Korean won

CLS Bank, which operates the continuous-linked settlement service for foreign exchange, plans to include the South Korean won as a CLS-eligible currency.

Endorsement from the group’s board is in principle, until regulatory approval is obtained and certain legal requirements are met. But the won is likely to be added in 2004 as the fourteenth currency on the system, joining existing CLS units – the Australian, Canadian and US dollars, euro, yen, sterling and Swiss franc – and four other currencies set to go live later this year – the Danish and Norwegian kroner, Swedish krona and Singapore dollar. The Hong Kong and New Zealand dollars are also set to join CLS in 2004.

CLS works by making simultaneous payments on trades settled through the system, thereby reducing the risk that one party could default on payment. This means the addition of more CLS-eligible currencies brings more trades on to the system, and is a vital move to ensure wider protection from settlement risk throughout the industry.

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