October 28, 2014 / 9:56 AM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-CME Group interested in buying Korea Exchange stake if shares for sale

(Adds background details on exchange, quote)

SEOUL, Oct 28 (Reuters) - The head of CME Group has expressed interest in buying a stake in South Korea’s main exchange operator if Korea Exchange Inc offers to sell some of its shares, CME’s South Korea representative Hong Sung-hee said on Tuesday.

Korea Exchange spokesman Noh Byung-soo said he was aware of CME Chief Executive Phupinder Gill’s remarks but said the exchange had no plan to sell shares.

“There’s no plan at all on any stake sale,” Noh said by telephone, adding any decision on whether to sell any shares would be a matter for South Korea’s government.

CME’s Hong said he understood Gill’s remarks were made on a conditional basis, rather than indicating any concrete deal talks coming up soon.

Korea Exchange is owned by a group comprising dozens of local financial companies but is designated as a public enterprise, even though the government has no direct stake.

Some big global players, including Deutsche Boerse AG , have previously expressed interest in Korea Exchange, the sole operator of securities and derivatives exchanges in Asia’s fourth-largest economy.

Separately, Korea Exchange and CME said on Tuesday that the Korea Exchange’s U.S. Dollar Futures contract would be hosted after-hours on the CME Globex electronic trading platform from Dec. 8. The pair have been in a partnership agreement since 2009. (Reporting by Choonsik Yoo; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)

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