Market participants in Korea are considering establishing a benchmark swap rate index through an initiative led by the Korean Swap Dealers Association. "We're going to discuss establishing our own swap rate fixing," said S.W. Hwang, head of derivatives marketing at Citibank and co-chairman of KOSDA in Seoul, noting that this will be the focus of today's meeting. Hwang believes that establishing a benchmark rate would provide more liquidity by creating a standardized rate. There are currently too many pricing discrepancies in Korean swap rates as quotes are listed on a variety of pages. The nascent trade association may list its own page for floating rates, from three months up to five years. The rate would be set by taking quotes from participating institutions, removing the highest and lowest rates, and averaging the rest, similar to the LIBOR fixing. "This will be helpful for end users," added Hwang.
KOSDA was established earlier this summer (DW, 7/21) to discuss issues particular to the Korean market.