I was chatting to a Hong Kong based colleague earlier this week. As the chat turned to specific countries and their trading habits, he mentioned Korea (South of course!).

Interestingly 30% of the trading in the Bond Market goes via the Korean Stock Exchange. The other 70%? Via YAHOO instant messaging!!!!!

Essentially the salespeople at the six main securities houses send out broadcast messages to the clients with a list of offers, axes etc. The clients react accordingly or do keyword searches when looking for a particular bond or issuer etc. Any efforts by ECN’s to break in to Korea have met with plenty of apathy & a genuine satisfaction in the way things are done now – both sellside & buyside.

I’m not suggesting this as a way forward in Europe, but viva la difference!