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Markets: Icap gatecrashes electronic swaps market

Icap has widened the distribution of its electronic forward foreign exchange platform after what it says is its successful take-up in Europe. The company says the platform will build on the success of EBS, the spot platform it bought from its mainly bank owners in 2006.

"It is set to become a global electronic trading venue and source of liquidity for short-dated FX forwards, building on the company’s global reputation for e-trading spot FX," Icap claims in a press release. "The system also uses market data from the award-winning Icap-owned EBS platform, the source of the spot FX market, and is therefore ideal data for forwards calculations," it adds.

Icap says i-Forwards will now be available in other major financial markets, including Asia and the Americas, and will build a global e-book in forward FX. "Forwards traders universally regard price and liquidity as being of paramount importance and the opportunity to electronically execute with straight-through processing is compelling. Trading forwards through Icap provides access to an orderly market and a global book of counterparties and liquidity," says Don McClumpha, product manager, Icap Electronic Broking, Europe.

"We worked closely with the EBS management team to build on their expertise in running a global FX currency book, which is reflected in the design of our offering for e-forwards trading. We are fully confident this will become the electronic venue of choice for professional forward FX traders," he adds.

However, at least initially the platform will only cover short dates and will not offer prices for periods longer than one week.

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