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War on latency driving banks to put FX engines in Singapore

FX market participants are responding to Singapore’s desire for physical location of matching and pricing engines in the city-state.


To judge by the number of FX liquidity providers and execution venues setting up shop in Singapore, the city state’s efforts to establish itself as the premier FX trading centre in Asia appear to be paying off.

An environment that encourages providers to physically locate matching and pricing engines in Singapore is one of the key aspects of the industry transformation map of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

And banks have responded.

This month, BNP Paribas said it would introduce an e-FX pricing and trading engine for spot, forward, swaps, non-deliverable forwards (NDFs) and options in Singapore over the next 18 months to capitalize on double-digit annual growth in electronic trading in southeast Asia.

Standard Chartered Bank’s local infrastructure will support a similar range of trading when it goes live later this quarter.

Matching FX trades in Singapore takes only one-to-two milliseconds for participants based here and in aggregate under 30 milliseconds for participants based in the southeast Asian region - Wong Joo Seng, Spark Systems

In March, Citi announced plans for a pricing and trading engine in Singapore that would initially offer spot trading in 23 currencies, while JPMorgan will also go live with spot trading later this year.

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