Investors looking for exposure to emerging markets FX have limited options, with most EM indices offering exposure (currency hedged or otherwise) to local equity and bond markets. They will soon have the opportunity to invest directly in EM FX markets, however as T3Index is set to launch its E8 index, which it says it a first of its kind as it measures the performance of the world’s eight largest emerging market exchange rates. T3Index is a research driven financial indexing firm that specialises in derivatives benchmarking and the development of investible, proprietary indices that track related strategies across a range of asset classes.
International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has made an equity investment in compression service provider, LMRKTS (Lmrkts).
IFC joins lead investor Motive Partners, a private investment firm focusing on technology-enabled companies within the financial services industry, in this investment round.
Founded in 2012, Lmrkts provides a compression service designed to enable commercial and investment banks to reduce exposure to each other thereby minimising counterparty risk and leverage costs.
The company balances participants' counterparty limits and their risk management objectives with a structured methodology that aims to deliver mutually beneficial results. After years of testing, Lmrkts launched in late 2016, and has compressed over US$2 trillion of notional equivalent in foreign exchange derivatives.
ING is launching proprietary global emerging markets indices, aiming to provide clients with a new route for gaining exposure to emerging markets currencies.
Bloomberg is responsible for providing the independent calculation and administration of these indices. In addition to leveraging Bloomberg's expertise in strategy index development, calculation and administration, ING is using Bloomberg’s BFIX data source to use in the index, stating in a release issued today that it is an independent benchmark for currency rates that is regularly updated and widely used by the FX market.
Those of you wise enough to listen in to our weekly podcast will know that I am currently in South Africa, although not, I should point out, to stalk the Global FXC. Instead I am here as part of my work with ACI Australia’s Dealing Simulation Course and last week we worked with the IMF to run the course for 30 African central bankers, which made me realise I only told half of the story in last week's column on the FX industry's priorities.
Rather than moving in a synchronised manner, speakers at the Profit & Loss Forex Network Chicago conference predicted that emerging market (EM) performance has become divergent due to idiosyncratic factors within each country.
“In general, EM does well when you have at least two out of three things: one is global growth, two is a weak dollar, and three is lower US rates. So, if you look at this combination and where we are in the cycle, especially given all the easy money that we’ve had since 2008, I would be very careful with the emerging markets right now,” said Mo Grimeh, CIO at Mogador Capital Management at Profit & Loss Forex Network Chicago.
Greater automation in emerging markets is widely seen to be merely a matter of time. Profit & Loss talks to Darryl Hooker, former co-head of EBS Brokertec Market and currently consultant at Capitolis about his experience in helping bring a larger ‘e’ focus to Russia and China.
Profit & Loss: Can you give us an insight into the thinking that saw you focus on first Russian markets and then China when you were at EBS? What are the main signals that identify a frontier market ready to move into the mainstream of EM?
Darryl Hooker: A common pitfall in emerging markets is to make the mistake of considering them collectively despite the fact that they have very particular and specific nuances.
Galen Stops examines the extent to which banks in different emerging markets face the same challenges when trying to build out their e-FX businesses, and questions the extent to which technology developments in these markets will follow a familiar pattern.
Talking broadly about how firms in emerging markets operate is often misleading, given the diversity of these markets and how widely the demands and conditions vary within each one. And yet, when it comes to banks in emerging markets that are looking to build out their e-FX businesses, there are some common themes that can be identified. For starters, these banks actually tend to have a sizable and often fairly diverse customer base, although each of these clients tend to trade FX on a smaller scale in terms of transaction size compared to their counterparts in more developed countries.
Galen Stops quizzes Jon Vollemaere, CEO of R5FX, about whether fintech solutions will be used in China, and emerging markets more broadly, to effectively replicate existing FX markets or create an entirely new ecosystem.
Galen Stops: How does the FX market in China compare to those in Europe and the US?
Jon Vollemaere: A lot of the Chinese dealing rooms look like the Western FX markets of the late ‘90s in the way that they're set up and the lack of technology in them.
Carlos Mosquera Benatuil, the CEO of Mexico-based Solidus Group, which focuses on digital finance through its crypto hedge fund, Solidus Capital, and crypto OTC desk, Solidus Markets, talks to Profit & Loss about why cryptoassets are more than just a vehicle for speculation in Latin America.
Profit & Loss: What are some of the key differences you see between crypto trading in Latam compared to the US?
Carlos Mosquera Benatuil: So there are only a few places for cryptoasset price discovery in Latam, but the bigger exchanges are pretty good. The market still lacks sophisticated traders, however, which has actually been a challenge for us as we’re looking to hire staff for the proprietary trading desk that we’re building out.
The potential for Asian FX markets has long been talked about but has rarely been delivered, that may be changing, however, as Colin Lambert finds out.
When, in the early morning of October 7, 2016, the FX market witnessed a flash crash in Cable, there was a collective metaphorical shrugging of the shoulders, as epitomised by one London-based trader who told Profit & Loss, “It’s Asia – that type of thing happens.”
The perception is that institutions pay less attention to Asia, allocate fewer resources to the region generally and, as one global head of FX puts it, “Rely upon Asia not to drop the ball.”
In this week’s podcast, Galen Stops lights the blue touchpaper and steps back to watch the fireworks by asking Colin Lambert about not only the Benchmark Fix, more specifically the research paper published this week, but last look as well following the news that a regional regulator is investigating the practice. Just to add to the mix, he also gets him going on another Lambert favourite, tracking error.
They also discuss the FX Global Code and fintechs and ask, ‘should they be adhering and signing up to the Code?’ and Lambert shares some reader feedback on this week’s opinion piece on FX options brokerage.