SEOUL, May 23 (Xinhua) -- Foreign exchange banks in South Korea saw their FX turnover jump in the first quarter due to a rise in local bond purchases by foreigners, central bank data showed Thursday.
The daily average FX trading volume by domestic banks and local branches of foreign banks, including inter-bank and bank-to- customer FX transactions, reached 49.2 billion U.S. dollars during the first quarter, up 6.29 billion dollars from three months earlier, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).
The first-quarter figure was the largest since 50.6 billion dollars since the third quarter of 2008 when the global financial crisis erupted.
The rebound came as foreign investors expanded their holdings of local bonds. Local exporters lifted holdings of short positions in the FX forward contracts to hedge against the risk of the South Korean won's ascent against the U.S. dollar.
The daily turnover of FX forward contracts rose 27.3 percent from three months earlier to 7.5 billion dollars in the first quarter, while the figure for spots increased 20.7 percent to 20. 09 billion dollars.
Daily trading volume for FX swaps grew 5.4 percent to 20.56 billion dollars over the cited period, and the figure for currency swaps rose 2.7 percent to 700 million dollars.