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Foreign Exchange

Fun at the GL Net Forum

I was off to the GL Net Forum in London on Tuesday. Over the years, I’ve become a regular at this show – put on by trading solution provider GL Trade – but I’ve kept it a bit of a secret because it’s such a useful source of information.

Although its primary focus is on exchange-traded markets, as we all know, anything that has a meaningful impact in one market is likely to cross over rapidly into others. I first heard of various topics, such as algo trading and Mifid, at the GL NET Forum. This year, three different FX platforms, FXall, FXMarketSpace and FXCM, exhibited at the forum and there was relatively healthy interest in their offerings from the delegates, as well as a little bit of banter between them. “Where is your volume?” I heard one of them ask.

What I like about the Forum is the fact that it is attended by so many market participants, which makes it easy to gauge what the hot topics are. All you have to do is to follow the herd. This year, the biggest gathering occurred at a discussion on the post-Mifid European equity landscape. There seems to be a consensus that the market is going to fragment; this view was further reinforced by the heaving throng that was present at Chi-X’s stand all day. Chi-X is what is called a new multilateral trading facility, and it is already capturing good volumes. It will be interesting to see how the incumbent exchanges react post Mifid – aggressively is the likely answer.

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