A storm is brewing in the world of FX derivatives. Driven by, surprise surprise, Brexit uncertainty and Trump - there’s a sizable chunk of activity in GBP/USD options relative to the other major currency pairs.
Now the geopolitical landscape is of course backed into the price of the underlying currency pair, as opposed to the activity of the options. But the challenge is that as volumes increase, investment banks have to inevitably pay more in interdealer broker (IDB) fees. And the bigger the volume, the bigger the brokerage cost. Already under intense scrutiny to reduce costs wherever possible, this is a major headache that any desk head could do without right now.
Many FX participants are already reviewing their FX operating model, building support for FX clearing and Futures in addition to their OTC FX.
This is not in the belief that the entire FX market will move to a cleared model, but it is evident that pioneering firms are already staking their claim as well as exploiting the values that hybrid OTC and Cleared products can bring; blurring the historic lines that have previously separated bilateral FX models, PB’d access to markets, OTC clearing, and FX Futures
The FX market is still “completely under-futurised” right now, according to Carlo Kölzer, CEO of 360T and global head of FX at Deutsche Börse Group.
Deutsche Börse announced plans to buy 360T in 2015 and this deal can subsequently be viewed as part of a broader trend of large exchange groups buying OTC FX platforms.
This begs the question of whether these exchanges will try to replicate the “vertical silo” model that they have developed in other markets, whereby they effectively manage to keep customer transactions within their business silo for the entire lifecycle of the transaction by offering pre-trade data and analytics, execution and post-trade clearing and settlement services all in one venue.
ABN AMRO Clearing today has started clearing Eurex FX futures and options for its clients.
The group now provides immediate support for the “classic FX” derivative contracts with attributes including monthly and quarterly expiries, as well as the rolling spot futures product that is now live.
“Our clients have made our decision to support the Eurex FX exchange traded derivatives offering very easy,” says Michael van Dijk, global product manager, FX, at ABN AMRO Clearing. “We consistently post over 20% market shares of transactions cleared on most relevant derivatives exchanges globally.”
Flow Traders has become a liquidity provider for Eurex FX futures products.
Effective immediately, Flow Traders will provide liquidity throughout the whole range of monthly and quarterly deliverable FX futures, as well as in the non-deliverable rolling spot futures offered by Eurex.
Robbert Sijbrandij, head of FX at Flow Traders, says: “As a specialist liquidity provider focused on exchange traded products (ETPs), we welcome the FX futures offering from Eurex, which broadens the reach and potential of listed currencies globally. We believe Eurex rolling spot FX futures will be a great addition to our FX portfolio. Going forward, Flow Traders will provide liquidity in all Eurex FX futures on a continuous basis. We look forward to working with Eurex on this.”
Trading on SGX’s FX Futures more than doubled to $914 billion in 2018 as the exchange saw a record monthly volume of $96 billion traded in December.In aggregate, 1.76 million FX futures contracts were traded on SGX in December, up 87% from the same month in 2017. Meanwhile, the notional volume of $96 billion traded on the platform was a 122% year-on-year increase.“The robust annual growth is strong evidence of the role SGX plays as a key risk management venue for market participants as they manage their Asian currency risk exposure,” says the exchange group in its monthly newsletter.
New data from the Futures Industry Association (FIA) shows a 20.2% increase in the number of futures and options contracts traded globally on exchanges in 2018.Futures volume rose 15.6% to 17.15 billion contracts traded, while options volume rose 26.8% to 13.13 billion contracts traded."The rapid growth in derivatives trading on exchanges around the world highlights the value that these products continue to provide for end-users and investors," says Walt Lukken, president and CEO of FIA.
The overall rate of growth was the highest since 2010, when rapid growth in Asia-Pacific and Latin America combined with a recovery in the North American interest-rate sector to produce a growth rate of 26.4%.
The average daily volume (ADV) of spot FX traded on Swap Execution Facilities (SEFs) in January was $61.2 billion, up month-on-month from $49.8 billion and up 5.5% from $58 billion in January 2018.This represents the third highest month of ADV ever, behind June and March 2018, when the platforms registered a total of $62.9 billion and $61.3 billion, respectively. Tullett Prebon’s SEF saw the most FX volume, with an ADV of $15.8 billion going through its platform last month. The next biggest by volume was the BGC SEF, which recorded an ADV of $12.4 billion in FX, followed by Tradition and GFI, which both recorded $9.4 billion.
Trading on SGX’s FX futures hit an all-time in January, with $105 billion in notional value and 1.87 million in aggregate contracts traded. Year-on-year, this represents a 60% growth in terms of notional value and a 30% growth in the volume of contracts traded. Average daily volume (ADV) of contracts traded last month grew to approximately 85,000 contracts from 68,000 in January 2018, while the notional ADV traded per day grew to $4.8 billion in January 2019, up from $3.1 billion the same month the previous year.