For the first time, ACI Australia’s dealing simulation course has been held in South Africa. The course attracted 32 delegates from various banks from South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique, Botswana and Mauritius and was held at the Park Hyatt RoseBank in Johannesburg. The conference was organised and coordinated by Lee Panos from Jon Panos and is sponsored globally by BT and Profit & Loss. It was further supported in South Africa by Reuters, FirstRand, MicroMega Securities, UBS and Standard Bank.
The following is a diary of the course.
Monday 01 Aug
Delegates were put into their Banks for the week (four per bank). Most of the day is full of lectures on the FX market, Role of the broker, Method and Psychology of Trading and economics of the FX market with the introduction to the dealing simulation rules, the first dealing session and position balancing taking up most of the late afternoon.
Day finishes with the opening dinner and official welcome. Delegates look for an early night as they have been advised that it would be a long week.
Tuesday 02 AugÂ
Day two starts with a lecture on Technical Analysis which the Delegates are told is very important as this could help them with ‘planning their trade & trading their plan,’ a trend may develop during the dealing sessions and they are now informed that they are now on 24-hour call. Not many smiles.
Mid morning dealing session two begins with most banks taking small positions and trying to work out who are the aggressive banks, price makers and followers.
Next a lecture on Forward FX and a very interesting presentation on the role of the Central Bank. Everyone seems to have questions directed at the Central Bank.
Mid afternoon dealing session three begins with a trend starting to form. Most banks try to stand in front of this, and find out how hard it can be on the nerves.
Dinner is at the local Zoo and as most of the delegates are now very tuned in to what is happening in their market, talk is focused on how some banks don’t make quick prices, others make too wide a price etc, etc (sounds familiar?). With this on their minds the torches were forgotten for the night drive through the zoo. Undeterred half the group went for a quick trip (in pitch darkness) and were asked not to get off the train as they may not be seen until morning and they were still on 24 hour call.
After dinner dealing session four, this time no phones, systems or brokers, open cry with banks setting themselves up for a long session and even longer night as rumours are running high that calls will be received during the night.
Wednesday 03 Aug
After a quiet night the day starts with lectures on the Interest Rate market and Currency options with a presentation by Reuters. Dealing sessions five and six take up the rest of the day.
Positions are now getting bigger, but banks are told not to exceed limits as we can monitor their positions and there will be consequences for breaking limits. Profit and loss wise, there is not much between the banks but some are still trying to fight against a developing trend and nerves are starting to fray, brokers are under more pressure with the noise factor increasing each session.
Dinner, and there is constant talk about how the day went. The war stories have started ‘ how this bank did this and that bank did that.
Five banks still in the running for most profitable bank.
After dinner, dealing session seven, the same as the night before no phones, systems or brokers, open cry, rumours start again that calls will be received during the night.
Thursday 04 AugÂ
Some very tired delegates listen to lectures on Risk management, Regulations & Compliance and platform trading. Still the questions flowed during these lectures and the organisers are very pleased with the concentration of the delegates as most had an uneasy sleep waiting for the late calls.Â
To help with the concentration a quick aerobics session was held prior to dealing sessions eight and nine, with a lot of moans and whispers about ‘how to get even with the boys from Australia’.
After a great dinner sponsored by UBS, a lot of tired delegates retreated to their rooms for some needed rest. Most banks are now convinced that there will be no late night calls.
Friday 05 Aug Â
Day starts with a very early call (5.30 am), Banks are informed that all the major centres are down and they are required in the trading room. Some very interesting pyjamas are worn down to the trading floor.
After a couple of hours trading, dealers are allowed to have breakfast and get themselves ready for the last trading session.
Dealing session 10 and it feels like ‘Top Gun,’ down to three banks for most profitable bank with little between them. Session 10 ends with all three banks finishing very close.
After the last dealing session there is a review of how the week’s trading went and questions on why some banks continued to fight the trend with the usual answer ‘ ‘thought it had gone too far and should come back’. Lesson learnt.Â
After lunch, time to review all lectures before the examination.
Examination results are very good with everyone passing (70%), the average is around 82%. All results and awards are given out at the closing dinner with plans to have a reunion very soon. As usual many new friendships and contacts have developed.
The ACI South African committee would like to thank the following lecturers and banks for their time:
Method & Psychology of Trading
Dave Gracey, Nedbank
Role of the Broker
Economics of the FX Market
George Glynos, E-Treasury
Yonatan Rom, Reuters
Phil Nel, Standard Bank
Role of the Central Bank
Daniel Mminele, SA Reserve Bank
Interest Rate Market
Mike Sandler, Full Value
Peter Skerritt, Skerritt & Assoc
Konrad Rodrigues, Reuters
Phillip Spannenberg, First Rand
Hugo Venter, UBS
Roy Daniels would like to give special thanks to the ACI South African Committee, sponsors and those banks that allowed their staff to take time out of their busy days to present at this seminar. He would also like to thank the management and staff of the Park Hyatt and Lee Panos for her hard work in making the course such a success.Â Â