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SGX Launches Asian Foreign Exchange Futures

Magnus Bocker CEO of SGX

Magnus Bocker CEO of SGX

Singapore Exchange (SGX) is introducing Asian foreign exchange (FX) futures for deliverable and non-deliverable Asian currencies from 11 November 2013. Futures contracts for six currency pairs, AUD/USD, AUD/JPY, USD/SGD, INR/USD, KRW/USD and KRW/JPY, will be launched initially.

SGX’s introduction of Asian FX futures is in line with global G20 regulatory reforms where all standardised OTC derivative contracts should be traded on exchanges or electronic trading platforms, where appropriate, and cleared through central counterparties. The trading of FX derivatives on a regulated exchange platform will promote greater transparency, and better serve investment and risk management needs in the Asian time zone.

“The trading of Asian FX futures on SGX offers global investors a transparent, margin-efficient and well-regulated marketplace to seamlessly manage their Asian currency risks. We will be adding more currency pairs to our Asian FX suite over the next 12 to 18 months. This comprehensive range of Asian FX futures will contribute towards the continued growth of Singapore’s FX market, which is already the world’s third biggest FX centre,” said Magnus Böcker, CEO of SGX.

SGX is a key risk management centre for customers with exposure to Asian equities risks and the world’s biggest offshore market for Asian equity derivatives. The launch of Asian FX futures on SGX enables customers to manage both currency and equity risks at the same clearing house, thereby maximising operational and capital efficiencies.

“By bringing Asian foreign exchange trading onto the exchange, SGX helps customers in their currency risk management activities and to minimise counterparty risks. We are delighted to be supporting the launch of Asian FX futures in Singapore as a market-maker for the USD/SGD currency pair,” said Andrew Ng, Group Executive (Treasury and Markets), DBS Bank.

“Volumes and interest in listed FX futures are continuing to grow and the introduction of these contracts by SGX comes at an opportune time for all market participants. ICAP Futures & Options expects substantial regional demand for these products and is happy to be working with the Singapore exchange in its continuing efforts to provide market place liquidity and reduced counterparty risk within the reformed global regulatory environment,” said Richard Vine, Head of APAC Futures at ICAP Singapore.

SGX is an early adopter of the highest international standards for payment, clearing and settlement developed by the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) and the Committee on Payment and Settlement Systems (CPSS)[1].

Under the Basel III framework, SGX clearing houses have also become qualifying central counterparties, thus enabling SGX bank clearing members to enjoy the lowest capital costs. In the year to 30 June 2013, SGX saw an 86% increase in average month-end open interest, further augmenting its position as a leading centre for the management of open exposures by global investors and risk managers.

In addition to these new Asian FX futures, SGX was the first central counterparty in Asia to clear over-the-counter non-deliverable FX forwards in seven Asian currencies, and interest rate swaps.

[1] CPSS and IOSCO published the Principles for Financial Market Infrastructures (PFMI) in April 2012, which established the global regulatory standards for clearing, payment and settlement. The new standards (called “principles”) replace the three existing sets of international standards set out in the Core principles for systemically important payment systems (CPSS, 2001); the Recommendations for securities settlement systems (CPSS-IOSCO, 2001); and the Recommendations for central counterparties (CPSS-IOSCO, 2004). CPSS and IOSCO have strengthened and harmonised these three sets of standards by raising minimum requirements, providing more detailed guidance and broadening the scope of the standards to cover new risk-management areas and new types of FMIs

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