Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing saw only thin trading in new products launched yesterday. The new international stock futures and options contracts, which cover 20 individual stocks in Japan, Korea, Taiwan and the United States, recorded a turnover of only 18 contracts on their first trading day. All contracts traded were Korean stocks, including three Samsung Electronic, 10 Korea Electric Power and five Kookmin Bank contracts. Some brokers said the thin trading was partly because of the inability of market makers to stir up enough liquidity. 'The exchange should have at least two market makers for every contract,' a futures broker said. However, only one was appointed to make markets for Korea and Taiwan contracts, he said. 'That market maker did not respond to quote requests, which made a horrible spread [between ask and bid sides].' According to trading rules, a market-maker is obliged to respond to investors' requests for giving quotes on both buy and sell orders so as to maintain spreads between the two sides at a reasonable range. William Grossman, HKEx derivatives market senior vice-president, dismissed concern about the thin trading, pointing out there was always a learning curve for investors to adapt to new products. During the past three years, HKEx has introduced a series of overseas products into the market. All have suffered from thin trading since their debuts.