Market-making: EBS volumes continue to soar
Some banks are already seeing an uptake from new buy-side clients
Bank-backed foreign exchange trading network EBS is posting record volumes and customer numbers on its EBS Prime service. According to recent trading data, average daily volumes on EBS Prime hit $5.9 billion in April, compared with $4.3 billion in March; a significant increase on the $1 billion a day in October and November 2004. The level of take-up for this product is increasing at a similar pace, with 77 customers now confirmed as live from both the interbank and professional trading communities and 41 more in the pipeline.
EBS extended its EBS Prime system in March 2005 with a product dubbed EBS Prime Professional. This initiative marked the dawn of a new era for the FX market, as it gave the professional buy-side community trading access to EBS. Some prime banks are bullish about the levels of additional business it could bring. "The way in which EBS Prime has structured itself means that the system is suitable for API-based trading – such funds are model-driven and will tend to trade quite heavily," says Iain Doran, FX prime brokerage in Europe at JP Morgan. "Our client has told us that it has far exceeded the volume levels it initially expected to do, so that's a really positive sign so far."