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Best electronic interdealer forex options platform: GFI

Highly commended: Volbroker

GFI offers voice broking as well as electronic trading, and its web platform is interesting because it provides transparency on both. Main rival Volbroker may be bigger, but it offers electronic pricing only on the instruments that can be traded electronically.

GFI’s platform covers forex derivatives, non-deliverable forwards, and emerging-market interest rate swaps, and the company claims that 70% of the top-tier currency options banks use it.

The top of the main screen shows electronically tradeable instruments. Users can open deal tickets from here and deal on those firm executable prices. Banks have to enter their own prices manually – there is no facility for taking direct feeds from pricing engines. But the platform does have a run function for extrapolating full curves from key pricing points.

The platform is particularly interesting because below these electronically tradeable instruments, a window on the screen shows the status of voice-broked instruments. This provides indicative prices. Where they are in italics, users can see that a deal is being worked over the phone.

TFS-Icap, a rival forex options brokerage to GFI, claims to be considerably larger in terms of trading volume. It bought Volbroker, which was a standalone trading platform, in 2000.

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