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Euromoney FX survey 2011: HSBC raises its game

When Euromoney calls to book appointments with the heads of the top 10 FX banks before the results of this year’s poll appear, the typical response from their press officers is: “Can we get back to you, he is travelling in Asia right now.” This tells you all you need to know about growth in the foreign exchange markets, with Asia as its new frontier.

More than anyone, Fred Boillereau, HSBC’s global head of FX and precious metals, knows the importance of the region. After all, Asia, and in particular China, has always been one of the bank’s strongest businesses. "China is a core competency for us," he says. "Last year was all about consolidation for us. Clearly that’s where we have always been strong, but we have been under attack," he tells Euromoney from his London office after a recent visit to Asia.

The push into the emerging markets is self-explanatory, where currency flows mimic the emerging markets growth story, and as Chinese authorities gradually relax currency controls. That liberalization has included the Hong Kong-based renminbi market starting trading in 2010, as well as options markets, and most recently the opening up of an onshore options market.

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