On May 25 Fix Protocol Limited’s 9th Asia Pacific Trading Summit took place in Hong Kong. According to the organizer there were 650 registered attendees but they only allowed 250 to come. The feedback I heard on attendance was mixed, however, with some saying that not as many were there as last year and others saying the opposite. It seemed well attended to me with standing room only in the main conference hall.
After the welcoming remarks and the first video, Andy Xie, now an independent economist provided a very entertaining and colourful keynote speech based on the conference theme “All Eyes on Asia”. His views on George Bush and Europeans were right on the money. Next was a “Risk-on Risk-off” discussion by Benjamin Pedley Head of Investment Strategy at HSBC Private Bank. Certainly great research but not exactly content I would have expected for an electronic trading industry conference.
The morning carried on with Ron Gould giving a succinct presentation on the changes going on in the exchange space. Then Rob Liable from Nomura moderated a panel on the future of liquidity aggregation.
And just before the lunch break Johan Bollen gave an interesting dissertation on predicting movements in the Dow based on Twitter. His model, which claims to be 80% accurate, seeks words within tweets that are either positive or negative such as love or hate. There is now a fund starting up based on Twitter’s tweets.
After lunch David Webb talked candidly on the political realities of Hong Kong’s market. Known for his outspoken views on the SARs shortcomings this was the first time I heard him speak and judging by the packed conference room everyone wanted to hear what he had to say. In my opinion, if the government dropped the stamp duty it would create more jobs in Hong Kong’s financial industry and the tax generated from these jobs could probably offset the loss on stamp revenue.
The HFT Panel was quite good as there were some polar views on whether HFT was friend or foe and their seemed to be some underlying tension among the participants. Late afternoon saw a panel on Transaction Cost Analysis (TCA) and a presentation on hedge funds in Asia.
The conference featured 5 exchange video interviews from ASX, HKEx, SGX, SET and BSE throughout the day. Each ran about 5 minutes and covered developments at the respective exchange rather than thought leadership on industry topics. They were almost as good as AsiaEtrading’s videos.
It was hard to say whether the most memorable part of the conference was the fairy godmother MC or the cartoon videos that cleverly yet simply spelled out some of the day to day realities of electronic trading in Asia. Yes honey I do stay out all night drinking just for you.
The cartoons can be found on YouTube.
1st Cartoon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uga0COa1yaA
2nd Cartoon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHmkc8viT-o
3rd Cartoon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-6zXqWyHSw
And the famous recap video too
The cocktail party at the end of the conference was packed with everyone gabbing and gossiping and generally having a good time. Despite the long hours and demands the trading industry exacts in Asia the FPL conference brought everyone together at an event that makes the hard work all seem worthwhile.
Maybe the 10 year FPL conference can be held in Bali. See you next year.