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EBS Unveils Conversational & Market Data Products

EBS, the interbank electronic broking service for spot FX, has unveiled its new suite of products – EBS Trader and EBS Market Data.The former competes with the market standard Reuters Direct conversational dealing service while the latter is an expansion of the EBS Data Stream (Ticker) product which will be provided exclusively to its Dealing System customers.

“There are three legs to our strategy – spot matching, direct/conversational dealing, and market data,” says a spokesperson for EBS. “We are not trying to take on the world with these products. We have a strong niche position and want to leverage this by broadening our product base and our reach within a fixed product sector.”

The conversational dealing service will be a direct competitor to Reuters, the cur-rent market leader, and market sources have disclosed that it will be priced in the region of $200/month per concurrent access – a tenth of what Reuters charges. According to the same sources, the initial production release is due out in July.

AVT Technologies, which developed EBS’s original ticker application, is also providing the technology behind the EBS Trader application, which is based on a Java applet that can be accessed over a virtual private network (VPN), a new technology model for EBS. The first release is a downloadable version, hosted initially by Digital Island.

Users will be able to customise five main panes from a single screen, including a Chat Archive, Deal Log, Preferences, Rates and an Address book in which users can build communities of counterparties. EBS Trader will also be one of the delivery channels available to EBS Market Data subscribers.

Users have flexibility in how they exe-cute trades – for example, a trade can start as a request for quote (RFQ) in an email and then be executed through a fixed format deal structure, or simply via one or the other of these methods. Conversations can take place on a one-to-one basis or in a forum (aka, chat room). The chat pane can be left open so conversations can continue even while the main application is closed, thereby freeing up traders’ screen space. A broadcast facility is also available for communicating with a group of counterparties or colleagues.

After a deal is executed, the service automatically captures both conversational and direct deals and sends the details via standard Ticket Output Feed (TOF) into bank’s credit and position keeping systems to achieve straight-through processing and a full audit trail.

Three instruments will be available in the first release – FX spot, forwards and outrights – and releases scheduled to follow shortly after will include other products such as money markets.

According to the spokesperson, feedback has been positive so far. The new products were previewed to dealers attending last month’s ACI Forex 2001 conference in Singapore. “Senior managers like the price and features such as the broadcast facility and address book. They also like the fact that it doesn’t take up additional desktop real estate and leaves no footprint on the desk because it operates on a virtual private network,” the spokesperson adds.

There are no plans to migrate the spot service from the standalone EBS terminal for now, but the spokesperson would not rule this out at a later stage.


MARKET DATA

EBS Market Data is a feed-based product, developed by Cicada (which provides the market data feed for the Deutsche Terminbourse).The service is only available to EBS Dealing System customers and is an expansion of its existing Ticker feed and enables customers to utilise real traded price data (as opposed to indicative rates) in a number of product applications. The first release will deliver EBS best bid/offer and paid/given prices and calculates highs/lows and a volume weighted average price for use in charting. The service provides a number of key indicators for improved market insight, including market depth and tone indices.

The service will initially carry quote and deal records in the major currency pairs, with additional cross currency pairs provided at a later date. For currency pairs outside the 18 currencies traded on EBS, data will be enhanced with contributed rates from a range of sources, including money brokers, exchanges and banks.

The service will be delivered initially via Reuters and Bridge data feeds and will shortly be available via a dedicated EBS Market Data Feed and within the EBS Trader application. It can be fully integrated into existing Tibco and Triarch environments, as well as other systems that support these protocols.

The market data product is priced on a site licence basis, regardless of numbers of users, with monthly subscription structured according to the number of sites accessing the data. There are three licence types – the enterprise licence permits distribution to 10 or more authorised branches or subsidiaries; the multi-site licence permits distribution in up to nine authorised branches or subsidiaries; and the single-site licence is self explanatory. Distribution is limited to countries in which EBS has Dealing System customers.

EBS will also allow users to redistribute core EBS rates, provided that they are modified and unattributed, and delivered as executable prices in a proprietary private pricing system (external redistribution incurs additional charges, as does the receipt of optional third party data).

In addition to contributed data from banks, brokers, exchanges and other third party sources, future releases will carry value-added EBS rate derived data and contributed data, including traded prices from the EBS spot system and calculated data including synthetic cross rate calculations derived from EBS spot rates, and EBS spot rates combined with broker contributed spot rates. EBS also plans to make available comprehensive sets of data derived from EBS source data, such as market depth and tone indices. Users will be able to chart EBS rate histories dating back to 1997.

It is expected that the EBS Market Data product will expand continually to encompass all major FX/MM instruments and a comprehensive range of third party data including news and commentary services.

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