KONEX outperforms Freeboard in trading volume

SEOUL, July 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's bourse operator said Thursday the venture-driven stock market launched Monday saw its daily turnover hover above that of the Freeboard market, casting a brighter outlook over the new bourse.

The Korea New Exchange (KONEX) market, which opened earlier this week to foster the growth of young venture firms, saw its daily trading volume reach 254 million won (US$223,137) on Wednesday, higher than the 190 million won posted by the Freeboard market, according to the Korea Exchange (KRX).

The Freeboard market, an over-the-counter bourse that opened in 2000 by the Korea Financial Investment Association, also aims to promote the growth of ventures that are not big enough to be listed on the secondary KOSDAQ market.

Market watchers earlier anticipated that the KRX's new market may fail to draw the attention of investors as the similar Freeboard market remained almost stagnant over the past 13 years since its launch.

The KONEX market saw its turnover reach 1.3 billion won Monday, hovering far above the 70 million won tallied by the Freeboard market.

The new market's transactions amount, however, came to 61,100 shares on Wednesday, compared to the 87,640 shares tallied by the Freeboard market.

"The KONEX market will solidify its status in the market down the road when institutional investors start to make a full-fledged investment on the bourse," said Chung Woon-soo, an official from the KRX said.

On June 25, the Korea Exchange selected 21 firms to be listed on the KONEX market after reviewing a list of candidates handed in by 10 brokerage houses, which were earlier selected as authorized supervisors by the KRX.

The first basket of the KONEX market covers five bio-technology firms, four chip-equipment manufacturers, three software firms, two auto parts markers and other firms from various sectors.

The bourse operator plans to attract 50 firms with a combined market capitalization of 1.5 trillion won on the new bourse by the end of this year.

Only institutional investors or an individual with a deposit above 300 million won will be allowed to participate in the KONEX market. The minimum amount of a transaction is 100 shares.

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