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South Korea bourse fines BofA Merrill Lynch over irregular trading

FILE PHOTO: A journalist walks past electronic board of KOSPI at the Korea Exchange in Seoul

SEOUL (Reuters) - The Korea Exchange (KRX) said on Tuesday it has imposed a 175 million won ($148,655) fine on Bank of America Merrill Lynch's <BAC.N> South Korean unit for irregular trading activities.

The investment bank's algorithmic trading operations placed 6,220 false orders from October 2017 to May 2018, the bourse said in a statement in Korean. Such practice may have encouraged other market participants to follow suit and buy those assets, boosting their prices, the bourse said.

A Hong Kong-based spokesman for Bank of America Merrill Lynch declined to comment.

(Reporting by Hayoung Choi and Ju-min Park in Seoul and Alun John in Hong Kong; Editing by Christopher Cushing)