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FX news: GFI joins the option platform race

GFI announced the launch this week of its Fenics Trader FX options platform. The announcement follows a soft launch over the last six months involving 20 GFI Clients. The company claims that volumes have reached 120 trades per month.

The platform, with quoting on a request-for-quote (RFQ) rather than streaming basis, is supported by prices from nine market-making banks including BNP Paribas, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Credit Suisse, UBS and UniCredit.

Initially Fenics Trader supports European vanilla and associated simple two-legged structures (straddles, strangles and risk-reversals). Trades can be priced in volatility or premium terms. The platform is available to clients via GFI’s Fenics Professional platform.

The launch of Fenics Trader follows Digital Vega’s opening of Medusa platform last November. Another multi-bank FX options trading platform is on the way from SuperDerivatives, in a joint venture with FXCM, in the next few weeks.

Finally, Citi has signed up with FX Bridge to provide FX prime brokerage services and currency options pricing on the technology provider’s ProTrader Plus platform through which US regional banks provide streamed spot FX, contracts for difference and currency pricing to their institutional and retail clients. Stephen Best, FX Bridge CEO, says: “Streaming multibank liquidity together with integration with prime brokers is the perfect solution for brokers that want to offer expanded trading and risk management capabilities of options without running an options risk book.”

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