On 10 May 2019, the Republic of Korea named two ‘market makers’ to its national Emissions Trading System (KETS), which began monthly auctions of allowances in January 2019.

The move aims to stimulate liquidity by bringing additional sellers into the market. The Korea Development Bank and the Industrial Bank of Korea are officially designated market makers starting 10 June 2019, when they can begin trading on the market from a government-held reserve of five million allowances. Both banks, along with the Korean Export-Import Bank, have been allowed to trade in the market but have not been active or been able to draw on the allowance reserve. Their designation as market makers is valid until the end of 2020, according to Ecoeye International, a carbon-offset provider and KETS trader.   

Since January 2019, liquidity is also provided to the market in the form of monthly auctions. The price of winning bids at government-run auctions has continued to rise each month and lagged behind closing prices in the secondary market. The price in May 2019’s auction was up 5.5% over April 2019, which was 9.2% higher than January 2019. The winning bid in May’s auction lagged the closing price in the secondary market by 4.6%, a similar gap as April.