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Mexico: BMV Mexican Stock Exchange Aims to Attract High Frequency Traders with Platform Upgrade

Mexican stock exchange operator Bolsa Mexicana de Valores detailed its investment in a new trading platform that the bourse hopes will reduce execution time for trades while also boosting trading activity.

The platform will enable the bourse to complete a trade in 90 microseconds, or to facilitate around 100,000 transactions per second, putting it on par with the Singapore Stock Exchange and besting the New York Stock Exchange’s completion rate of 150 microseconds per trade, the Mexican exchange said. The platform, which began handling stock transactions on Sept. 3 and will handle derivatives trades starting in December, cost the bourse 150 million pesos ($11.5 million.)

The Mexican exchange hopes the updated platform will attract a greater number of sophisticated international market participants who are interested in executing algorithmic trades. Currently, such high-frequency trades account for 17% of the volume operated on the bourse, versus 70% of the volume in the U.S., the exchange said. In August the exchange averaged 1.9 million stock transactions a day.

The new platform also incorporates filters to prevent erroneous trades, for example by detecting price action that is out of sync with the market or unusually high volumes. In April the local brokerage house of Bulltick Capital Markets triggered a mini “flash crash” by entering an erroneous trade, knocking Mexico’s benchmark IPC stock index down about 2 percentage points.

Source: FIF Financial Information Forum, 17.09.2012

Filed under: BMV - Mexico, Exchanges, Latin America, Mexico, Trading Technology, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Coming to Grips With Big Data Challenges by Dan Watkins

The rate of data growth in financial markets has scaled beyond the means of manageability.

Debates have gone so far as to dismiss Big Data as being tamable and controlable in the near term with the current computing architecture commonly adopted as an acceptable solution. I agree but argue that conventional data transport – not management – is the real challenge of handling and utilizing Big Data effectively.

From exchange to trading machine, the amount of new ticks and market data depth are delivered only as fast as the delivery speed can endure. Common market data feeds that are used in conventional exchange trading are but a fraction of the market information actually available.

Perhaps due to high costs of $100,000 per terabyte, many market participants deem the use of more data as a bit too aggressive. Or they believe that high performance computing (HPC) is the next generation technology solution for any Big Data issue. Firms, therefore, are sluggishly advancing their information technology in a slow cadence in tune with the old adage: “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”

Over the last decade, Wall Street business heads have agreed with engineers that the immense perplexity of Big Data is best categorized by Doug Laney’s 2001 META Group report’s Three B’s: Big Volume, Big Velocity and Big Variety.

When looking at “Big Volume” 10 years ago, the markets had just defragmented under Regulation ATS. A flurry of new market centers arose in U.S. equities as did dark liquidity pools. This gave rise to a global “electronic trading reformation.” Straight-through processing (STP) advocates and evangelized platforms such as BRASS, REDIPlus and Bloomberg Order Management Systems (OMS) resulted in voluminous and fragmented market data streaming to 5,000 NASD/FINRA trading firms and 700,000 professional traders.

Today, the U.S. has 30+ Securities and Exchange Commission-recognized self-regulatory organizations (SROs), commonly known as exchanges and ECNs. For the first time since 2002, full market depth feeds from NASDAQ allow firms to collect, cache, react, store and retrieve feeds on six hours of trading for nearly 300 days a year more transparently than ever. Big Data volume has grown 1,000 percent and has reached three terabytes of market data depth per day.

Billions of dollars are being spent on increasing “Big Velocity.” The pipes that wire exchanges through the STP chain to the trader have become 100 times faster and larger but still not fast enough to funnel the bulk of information laying idle back in the database. Through “proximity hosting,” the telco is eliminated and latency is lowered. This structure results in adjustments made for larger packets but not really for more information as Big Data remains the big, quiet elephant in the corner.

Five years after Reg ATS, markets are bursting at the seams with electronic trading that produces explosive market data that breaks new peak levels seemingly every day. The SEC’s Regulation National Market System (Reg NMS), struck in 2007, requires exchanges and firms to calculate the best price for execution to be compliant. Firms are also now mandated to sweep all exchanges’ market order books and process all of that data for a smart execution.

After the execution, traders have to track the “order trail” from price to execution for every trade and store all of that information for seven years in the event of an audit recall of a transaction.

Under Reg NMS, subscribing to the full depth of all 30+ markets in “real time” would mean a firm would have to have a 1x terabyte pipe for low latency. Since a T-pipe is not realistic, data moves at 1x gigabits, which is relatively slow with the data in queue at 50-100 terabytes deep. Multi-gbs pipes, as fast as they seem, are still similar to driving five miles an hour on a 55 mph highway.

Analysts typically call data from a database with R (Revolution Analytics) and “SAS” Connectors. The process includes bringing data to an analytical environment in which the user runs models and computations on the subsets of a larger store before moving on to the next data crunch job. The R and SAS Connectors between the file servers and the database are at 10/100BASE-T, making the movement of 50 terabyte environment like driving one mile per hour in a 55 mph zone.

We all hear the polemics regarding data formats and the jigsaw puzzle of unstructured data and the fact that “Big Variety” is the obstacle. Even after standardization of SQL-based queries where analysts can ask any “ad hoc” question, too many sources and too many pipes from analytic servers cause traffic jams. SQL databases are ideal for unstructured queries but are slow in unstructured data compiling. Aggregating market information is where much of market’s processing technologies are being evaluated today to meet the requirements of regulations, sweeping for best execution and for risk management.

Comparing where current prices of stocks are against bids and asks to trade across multiple exchanges, markets, sources, asset classes and clients is essentially the Big Data task of risk management. In addition to managing data changes, firms are also tasked with managing their trading accounts, client portfolios and trading limits such as with the implementation of Credit Valuation Adjustments (CVAs) for counterparty risk.

So why are we still piping data around the enterprise when we just need more compute and memory power? Hardware-accelerated core processing in databases such as XtremeData’s dbX and IBM’s Netezza are powered by FPGAs (field programmable gate arrays). Processing of massive amounts of data with FPGAs can now occur at “wireless” speed. Along with high performance computing, high-speed messaging technology provided by companies like TIBCO, Solace Systems and Informatica have redefined transport times into ultra-low latency terms from one database to another in single microseconds, sometimes in nanoseconds, from memory-cache to memory-cache.

The colloquial phrase “in-database” analytics is an approach of running analytics and computations as near as possible inside a database where the data is located. Fuzzy Logix, an algorithmic HPC vendor, replaces the need for SAS and R connecting analytics, which stretch along the wire from the database to the analyst. With Fuzzy Logix, the need to call a database for small files is eliminated because computations can be done with the rest of the database in real-time: days to seconds faster.

With in-database or in-memory analytics, BI engineers can eliminate transport latency altogether and now compute at server speeds with computations sitting inside the database or in memory for tasks to be completed locally, not on the transport wire.

Wall Street is as risk averse as ever in today’s atmosphere so the adoption of new technology or new vendors continues to present operational risk challenges. ParAccel is a company that appears to be addressing the operational risk of new technology adoption by helping firms utilize the power of parallel processing of Big Data analytics on OEM hardware.

Since ParAccel is software, an IBM, HP or Dell shop could essentially rely on the reliability of their well-known, established database vendor but use next generation Big Data analytic processing an order of magnitude faster than what is currently in place. ParAccel allows firms to aggregate, load and assimilate different data sets faster than traditional platforms through its “columnar database” nodal system. The columns in a ParAccel environment provides firms with the flexibility to first run analytics in-database or in-memory, then bring massive amounts of data to a common plane and finally, aggregate the unstructured data and do it all in lightning speed.

Other companies like NVIDIA have been building graphic processing units (GPUs) for the video game industry for three decades and are now swamped with customer requests to help build parallel computing environments, giving financial firms the ability to run trillions of algorithmic simulations in microseconds for less than $10,000 per card, essentially. GPUs can have up to 2,000 cores of processing on a single NVIDIA Tesla card embedded inside. A GPU appliance can be attached to a data warehouse for advanced complex computations. Low-latency processing can also be achieved due to minimum movement of data over a short distance analyzing most of what Wall Street claims is Big Data in seconds compared with the days it takes now.

The vendors and players are ready to get to work; there just needs to be some consensus that the Big Elephant in the room is there and it’s standing on a straw when it could be surfing a Big Wave!

Source: Tabb Forum , 02.05.2012 by Dan Watkins, President @ CC- Speed dwatkins@cc-speed.com

Filed under: Data Management, Market Data, Risk Management, Trading Technology, , , , , , , , , , ,

Brazil: TRADING SCREEN launches OMS, THOMSON REUTERS offers Elektron Hosting

TradingScreen Inc. launches TradePlus, its order management system (OMS) for the sell side in Brazil.

TradePlus, which will be available globally later this month, integrates all trading infrastructure required by broker dealers through a no-install Software-as-a-Service model.

TradingScreen’s TradePlus clients will benefit from an exchange co-located in a local datacenter and an office in Brazil, which ensures low-latency and the industry leading follow-the-sun support that TradingScreen is known for. TradePlus has seamless integration into the world’s leading execution management system (EMS) for the buy side, TradingScreen’s TradeSmart, ensuring a new level of communication between brokers and their clients.

“Sell-side firms looking to buy an OMS face significant challenges when trying to find a system that will integrate with their buy-side customers,” said TradingScreen CEO Philippe Buhannic. “TradingScreen’s TradePlus provides a significant advantage, because there is integration between both sides right out of the box.”

TradePlus covers the entire workflow from liquidity management, order management, book passing, warehousing, sophisticated trading tools, an algo development environment, allocation management and supports a full integration to local back office and middle office systems while leveraging the TradeNet network distribution capability.

“TradePlus offers an innovative set of hosted exchange links and risk and compliance features that insure a new level of control in a high-volume trading environment. TradePlus also provides a highly sophisticated and efficient method for trading the Brazilian equity and listed derivatives markets, while allowing brokers to give their clients the best EMS in the market,” said Jose Barrera, Director of TradingScreen’s Sao Paulo office. “TradingScreen has the largest number of deployed EMS screens globally, and a deep understanding of the market in Brazil. With this foundation beneath it, TradePlus is the right product at the right place and the right time.”

Thomson Reuters launches  Elektron hosting and managed services in Brazil.

The new service, situated in close proximity to the BM&F BOVESPA exchange, will provide trading firms with cost effective, low latency access to the real-time data required to fuel algorithmic and high-frequency trading strategies in Brazil.

Based in São Paulo, the new Elektron data solution delivers high speed connectivity to BM&F BOVESPA for market participants seeking local liquidity in Brazil, including full depth of market pricing along with US-traded American Depository Receipts (ADRs) and CME futures data. By accessing the Elektron services, either through cross-connecting applications within the data centre or externally through a choice of connectivity options, local firms can consume both low latency local market content as well as global, cross-asset real-time data from over 350 electronic venues and hundreds of OTC market contributors and reference data sources.

Investor interest in the fast-growing Brazilian market has increased rapidly in recent years, driving market liquidity and seeing an expanding number of domestic and international firms adopting algorithmic trading. Elektron Hosting and Managed Services provides the comprehensive, high-quality, real-time data and high-performance delivery required to support these trading strategies and help customers gain competitive advantage.

Mike Powell, managing director, Elektron Hosting and Managed Services, Thomson Reuters, said: “The launch of Elektron in Brazil is a natural extension of our established business in the country and supports our customers’ evolving requirements. With Elektron, we continue to bring together global market participants and deliver world-class content that further empowers these communities. We are delighted to be working with BM&F BOVESPA in Brazil to address the requirements of our collective clients for high-performance, cost-efficient data solutions.”

MondoVisione, 24.04.2012

Filed under: BM&FBOVESPA, Brazil, Exchanges, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Innovations in Accessing Asia: Listed Equity Derivatives and Delta One Products.

Institutional investors seeking exposure to emerging Asian equity markets face challenges in accessing many of the region’s closed markets and are turning to exchange-traded derivatives markets, as well as over-the-counter (OTC) instruments that can provide the exposure they need, says TABB Group in new research published today, “Innovations in Accessing Asia: Listed Equity Derivatives and Delta One Products.

Investment managers are active users of OTC equity derivatives, including contracts for differences (CFDs), equity swaps, participation notes and other structured products, says Andy Nybo, a TABB principal, head of derivatives research and the report’s author. “However, global regulatory efforts to reduce concentration of counterparty risk have driven investment managers to explore alternatives for exposure, leading them to centrally-cleared, exchange-traded products that can lower overall levels of risk.”

According to TABB, as the appeal of developed markets waned in recent years, investors began examining new markets, searching for investment opportunities offering higher alpha and greater returns, especially emerging markets in Asia. Hedge funds are focusing their attention on the APAC markets, with 33% of US and European funds targeting the region for new investments. However, Nybo explains, direct investment in the emerging equity markets of Asia has been hindered by low market capitalization, restrictive regulatory environments and capital constraints that prohibit direct access to cash markets.

“Asia’s relatively stable political and regulatory environment has done well to attract investor interest,” Nybo says, “but some of the region’s regulators seem to use regulation as a policy tool in an attempt to control market fluctuations.” He adds that markets with heavy-handed regulatory authorities face a backlash from investors seeking opportunities and provide an opening for regional exchanges to launch products designed to meet investor demand for exposure to more closed markets.

“Pent-up demand from investors will contribute to innovation and new product launches by these emerging Asian exchanges to capture investment flows from both international investors and Asian-domiciled hedge funds,” he adds. “Many of the region’s regulators are very keen to promote greater participation in the financial markets. They are eager to attract strong capital flows from investors all over the world.”

The 33-page report with 24 exhibits is available for download by TABB Research Alliance Derivatives clients and pre-qualified media at https://www.tabbgroup.com/Login.aspx. For an executive summary or to purchase the report, visit http://www.tabbgroup.com or write to info@tabbgroup.com.

Other recent TABB derivatives research includes: Accelerated Expirations: The Growing Relevance of Short-term Options; US Options Trading 2011: Finding the Other Side of the Trade; Feeding the Options Beast: Big Data in the US Options Space; EU Equity Options Market Structure: Opening The Door To High Frequency Flow; VIX Trading: The Structure of Uncertainty; and TABB Group Options LiquidityMatrix.

Innovations in Accessing Asia:Listed Equity Derivatives and Delta One Products – Executive Summary

Source: MondoVisione, Tabb Group, 15.03.2012

Filed under: Asia, News, Trading Technology, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Shanghai Stock Exchange takes on HFT speculators, amongst other global exchanges

The Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) has become the latest bourse to signal a crackdown on the huge number of messages high-frequency traders generate.

Having carried out research into trader speculation and its effect on the market, the Chinese exchange operator has vowed to take on the issue with “both technique and system”.The SSE will impose trading limits on accounts “with such abnormal trading behaviors as making orders in a large sum or at high prices, or conducting frequent false orders and withdrawals”.Firms that continue to break the new rules will be designated unqualified investors, facing trading restrictions for several days and referral to the China Securities Regulatory Commission.

Yesterday US operators Nasdaq OMX and Direct Edge outlined plans to fine high-frequency traders for carrying out too many cancelled orders, following a path already taken in Europe by Deutsche Börse and Borsa Italiana.

The Shanghai bourse and its rival Shenzhen Stock Exchange have also both moved to curb excessive speculation and volatility in shares in newly listed companies. New rules mean there will be a 30 minute suspension on shares that rise or fall by 10% from their opening prices on their first day of trading.

Filed under: Asia, China, Exchanges, Risk Management, , , , , , , , ,

Brazil: BM&FBOVESPA Financial Report: IT Business-CoLo-HFT-ETF’s and Sharebuyback

BM&FBOVESPA S.A. (BVMF3) today reported fourthquarter  earnings  ending  December  30,  2011.  New  strategic  areas  such  as  Securities Lending, Tesouro Direto, ETFs and High Frequency Trading (HFT) performed well in the quarter. Successful implementation of the derivatives and spot FX modules of the PUMA Trading System and forward momentum on the multi-asset integrated clearing system further boosted the Company’s technological edge.

BM&FBOVESPA announced an adjusted expense1 budget range of R$580 million to R$590 million and a capital expenditure budget range of R$230 million to R$260 million for 2012. The adjusted Opex range equals the range for 2011 as a result of the Company’s cost- cutting improvements.

“We remain focused on capturing the growth opportunities offered by the Brazilian market,” said BM&FBOVESPA Chief Executive Officer Edemir Pinto. “The execution of our investment   program   to   strengthen   our   IT   infrastructure   and   the   launching   and development of products and markets, such as ETFs, HFTs and options on single stocks, are aligned with this goal. We are also taking actions to strengthen market supervision, which will help make the Brazilian market more attractive to investors. Mr. Pinto added,“We highly welcome the government’s decision to remove an IOF tax on equity investments by non-residents.”

During 4Q11, net revenues were almost flat year-over-year. This reflected a decline in trading volumes which was offset by a 39.5% increase in other revenues. Expenses were higher as a result of a one-time extraordinary transfer of restricted funds to strengthen the BM&FBOVESPA Market Supervision (BSM) while adjusted expenses were well in line with the Company’s announced budget range. Adjusted EBITDA2margin was relatively stable at65.2% compared to 66.5% in 4Q10. Adjusted net income3 per share declined by 1.0% year-over-year.

 

Source: MondoVisione, 15.02.2012

Filed under: BM&FBOVESPA, Brazil, Exchanges, Latin America, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

LatAm Traders reach home base – Brazil/Mexico

Latin America continues ease market access for foreign capital, and in the process, garners home bias from local participants.

Throughout the 1980s, U.S. capital flow to foreign markets averaged roughly U.S. $50 billion per year. Such levels have risen greatly to pre-financial crisis times; outflows to foreign capital markets increased to reportedly $2.1 trillion in 2007. While net inflows dipped by approximately 75% during the financial crisis, the emerging markets today have bounced back at a healthier rate than the sluggish developed economies of the U.S and Europe.

Due to its macroeconomic and private-sector growth, as well as its ease of market access, U.S. investors and traders have come to favor Latin America. Currently, a reported $57 billion of U.S. dollar is being poured into Brazil—often seen as the region´s  most developed nation.

Mexico comes in second with approximately $20 billion coming in from the U.S. last year. Local entities have poured interest in Mexico as well, as Mexican pensions, which aggregate $150 billion, have a primarily domestic mandate. Carlos Slim, the world’s richest investor, also recently announced plans to surge a $10 billion peso investment in Mexico’s telecom industry.

As a result of budding local and foreign interest, LatAm’s sell side has gone to work in building a “best-of-breed” suite of products to help provide access to Mexico. The Bolsa Mexicana de Valores, the country’s equity exchange and its derivatives exchange, MexDer are channeling efforts to better technology and infrastructure to attract liquidity providers. Yet, just how effective is the push to be better?

In 2011, MexDer experienced a 30% increase of trades to roughly 43,000 a day. Mexican brokerage assets were $21.4 million in 2005, to $2 billion in 2011–a clear reap of rewards from the sell side’s efforts to host opportunities for market participants.

While high frequency traders increased their activity in Mexico by 105% in 2011, buy-side views on trading via local resources have been mixed.

“Local knowledge on the part of on-the-ground brokers and exchanges is useful, but, it’s not essential to have a well developed sell side,” said Nick Robinson, director of the $250 million dollar Aberdeen Latin American Equity Fund. “As long as the market works and you can use the market without counter party risk then that should give (participants) enough comfort.”

MarketMedia, 15.02.2012

Filed under: BM&FBOVESPA, BMV - Mexico, Brazil, Exchanges, Latin America, Mexico, Trading Technology, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Brazil: The emergence of High-Frequency Trading

Brazil’s stock exchange is in the midst of a strategic initiative to lure high-frequency traders. Jake Thomases looks at what BM&FBovespa is doing to entice them, including a $200 million platform upgrade, and whether it is producing results.
In January of 2009, high-frequency trading (HFT) volumes made up 0.01 percent of all equities trades on BM&FBovespa (BVMF), Brazil’s near-monopolistic exchange. Less than three years later that number stands close to 12 percent, an increase of over 1,000 percent. If the exchange operators have anything to say about it, the HFT elevator won’t stop any time soon.

As the US and European markets struggle their way through the seven stages of high-frequency grief—denial, anger, bargaining, acceptance and so forth—Brazil is feeling no such ambivalence.

It desperately wants additional liquidity and sees HFT as the way to get it. In 2009, shortly after the merger of equities exchange Bovespa and derivatives exchange BM&F, BVMF began a strategic initiative to lure low-latency traders.

In 2010, as a major component of that initiative, it began work on a new trading platform that would solve its latency and capacity issues and attract high-performance brokers from overseas.

“What motivated us was our capacity to deal with flow and the growth we are seeing on the Brazilian market,” says BVMF trading director, Andre Demarco. “We also wanted to add one technology that makes an easy path for the client and the customers in general, because they have only one protocol to send orders to the exchange, and only one protocol and technology to get our market data.”

Work on the Puma trading platform began in March of 2010 with the help of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME). Puma is based on CME’s Globex platform, the world’s first for futures and options.

Two years ago, BVMF’s platform allowed for 50 messages per second per client and latency of over 30 milliseconds, according to Nilson Monteiro, head of the high-frequency direct market access (DMA) desk at Link Investimentos, a local brokerage with approximately 10 percent market share.

Small upgrades improved those numbers to 200 messages per second per client and latency of 20 milliseconds—better, but still far short of the performance needed to sustain HFT practices.

Puma Power
Puma, by contrast, can handle 200 million messages a day. It posts a latency of either one millisecond, according to the exchange, or 1.1 milliseconds, according to Aite Group analyst Danielle Tierney. Puma’s ability to receive orders and produce market data far exceeds its predecessors and its latency figure is expected to drop in 2012.

Gone will be BVMF’s four platforms for different asset classes. Puma offers a multi-asset vertically integrated system with a single code that can support all asset classes. “That’s important for arbitrage, hedging, and all the fun things that HFTs like to do,” says Tierney.

There has been heavy investment in market data feeds and additional, though less substantial, investment in clearinghouse integration.

As a venue that offers lending, settlement, registration, and other full-service perks, BVMF is constantly playing catch-up with itself. Every Brazilian real spent improving one wing means another is lagging behind.

According to Tierney, Puma carries a cost of $200 million spread over 10 years. Testing began in the fourth quarter of 2010. The first half of 2011 was spent tweaking. Puma launched on August 29 with the migration of all derivative contracts from the old Global Trading System (GTS).

First up was spot foreign exchange (FX). Then came the agricultural derivatives contracts—Brazilian commodities like sugar and coffee were migrated from GTS. Next up were financial derivatives, including inflation indices and interest rates. Last were the index futures, effectively terminating GTS.

Next in line for the chop is Mega Bolsa, the equities and equity derivatives platform. That migration is expected to be completed by the middle of next year.

The final implementation will be on the fixed-income side in 2013. Currently, those contracts are traded on Bovespa FIX and Sisbex, for corporate and government securities, respectively.

HFT on the Rise
“The efforts that they’re making are working,” Aite Group’s Tierney says. “You can see it already in the volumes. So if you can see it in one year, I would expect it to look very different in three years.”

HFT in derivatives was at 6 percent a year ago. The latest figures provided by the exchange have it nearly in double digits. As late as April of 2009, it was less than 1 percent.

The brokerage operations of Western investment banks like Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan, Newedge, and Morgan Stanley have had a presence in Brazil for a while. But they are paying renewed attention to the market thanks to the exchange upgrades and an increase in co-location possibilities.

Citi’s director of international electronic sales, Mani Singh, has seen substantial tightening of spreads and decreases in volatility since September of 2010. Co-location, done at one of five datacenters, accounts for 5 percent of equity trading and 6 percent in derivatives.

Monteiro of Link Investimentos says the positive trend goes all the way back to his firm’s implementation of HFT in 2009. “Since we started to send daily orders to BVMF from high-frequency clients back in 2009, the price discovery here in Brazil became much better,” he says. “So spreads tightened quite a lot. We have a big volume on the top of the book being built by high-frequency firms. So, if you are a client waiting to trade, you need a tighter spread and you need a bigger volume being offered on the top of the book. That’s what the high-frequency clients have been doing for the past two-and-a-half years.”

With its entrenched position in the market, Link Investimentos stands to benefit from any additional investor attention, but especially an increase in HFT.

Link, which is in the process of being purchased by UBS, boasts 70 percent of the exchange co-located HFT volume in the country, according to Monteiro. There is no naked access in Brazil, so anyone who wants to take advantage of Puma will have to trade through a local broker. Monteiro also credited HFT and algorithmic trading with increasing the general sophistication of the investment community.

Brokerages like his are protected by the watchful eye of the Brazil’s regulatory body, the Comissão de Valores Mobiliários (CVM). It is difficult to get a license to trade on the exchange, although banks like Citi and Deutsche Bank have obtained them.

The CVM is generally described as a careful but fair regulator. There is a misconception that Brazil is the Wild West simply because it is an emerging market. Yet in many ways, it is more tightly regulated than established markets, even in the new area of high-frequency trading, which should mitigate some of the angst that traditional traders will feel as quants invade São Paolo.

“A lot of the noise that you hear about high-frequency trading is people adjusting to the new market microstructure that high-frequency trading and electronic trading in general has brought about,” says Jose Marques, global head of equity electronic trading for Deutsche Bank. “In the US and in Europe, you can no longer look at a quote screen and have a human interact with that quote. Just like in the automobile business in the 1980s where we had tens of thousands of people displaced by robots, fundamentally changing the way cars were being built in the US, we’ve seen a similar sea change around trading. And it’s very disruptive. Now, that has not happened yet in Brazil. People still trade relatively manually, certainly on the institutional trading side—asset managers and hedge funds and those kinds of participants. As those markets become electronic, it will be disruptive, it’ll create angst, and I’m sure we’ll hear a lot of the same concerns that we’ve heard in the US. There will be some noise, but I think it will be a lot less than you heard here.”

Bringing in Money from Home and Abroad
BVMF’s advertising campaign is aimed mostly at international traders, but it would like to grow Brazil’s fledgling HFT industry as well. At a recent FIX Protocol Ltd. (FPL) conference, the exchange’s US representative, Marcelo Gualda, said that there are only 800,000 accounts nationwide, including foreigners. Soccer legend Pelé is the spokesman for a national campaign to educate the country of 200 million people about the capital markets.

Frustrating BVMF’s efforts to lure foreign HFT into the country is the central bank’s Imposto sovre Operacoes Financeiras (IOF), or financial operations tax. All inflows destined for derivatives, fixed income, and government bonds are taxed at 6 percent, while all inflows destined for equities are taxed at 2 percent. The price of clearing is also considered steep.

The exchange has tried to anaesthetize this sting by charging high-frequency participants less, based on their flow. On a national level, there is no capital gains tax on derivatives, equities, and government bonds. The market as a whole is also considered an attractive one, and, despite its benchmark iBovespa index performing at one of the worst levels in the world, sentiment is generally positive.

“What’s attractive about the Brazilian market is that even with those growth projections cut, the financial system is well capitalized,” says Aite’s Tierney. “They have huge cash reserves, as does everybody in Latin America, because they’ve done well. They haven’t done the silly overleveraging things that we [in the US] have. They have strong domestic growth prospects. They’re not coupled or leveraged to developed economies. For international trade we see big emerging markets are trading with each other. You’re seeing huge flows between Brazil and China, and you’ll see more of that. China has big demand for Brazilian commodities. The emerging markets are basically like a self-contained unit. So that’s why you see, not just Brazil, but emerging markets in general, weather global storms like the Eurozone better than developed markets do, because they have a healthier domestic consumption and international trade profile.”

Although the nation has been on everyone’s radar for a decade or more, BM&FBovespa’s upgrade to Puma and its US-based advertising campaign should have foreign HFT firms taking a second look.

CEO Edemir Pinto told Bloomberg News that he expects HFT volume will soon reach 20 to 30 percent. Though an enormous leap from where the exchange was, that still represents less than half of US volumes.

As long as it does what officials expect and shakes out the liquidity that now exists mostly in the top 10 to 20 listings, it will be embraced in the market, says Newedge’s Evandro dos Reis, Jr., director, co-head, Latin America.
Because of the lack of naked access, says Monteiro, there will not be predatory messaging sent only for the purpose of price discovery.

The pushback could come as discounts for low-latency traders mount, which will put pressure on BVMF’s margins. At that point the discounts will either shrink or the exchange will have to turn to other revenue sources, like its market data feed.

“We think that we’re in the very early stages of a much bigger and better market for firms with this profile in Brazil,” Monteiro says. “So it is an exciting moment we’re living in right now.”

Source:Waters, 29.11.2011 Jake Thomas

Filed under: BM&FBOVESPA, Brazil, Trading Technology, , , , , , , , ,

Mexican Market Leaps Forward – FIX, Technology, Co-Location and Regulation

In the last 12 months dramatic changes have occurred at Mexico’s stock exchange and among its brokerage clients. Cross border partnerships, technology upgrades, new FIX infrastructure and business friendly regulatory changes have opened the Mexican market to high frequency trading (HFT).

While US regulators can be seen to scold HFT firms, the Mexican market has opened its arms. The Mexican Exchange (BMV) and its brokerage firms have upgraded their infrastructure and sought business opportunities north of the border. Earlier this year after the CME Group and the BMV signed their partnership, high frequency traders on the CME Globex trading system began to route orders to the Mexican Derivatives Exchange or MexDer. Today 90 percent of average daily volume on the MexDer comes from high frequency traders north of the border.

Mexico’s brokerage firms have completed significant infrastructure upgrades. Last spring only a few brokers in Mexico could handle a highfrequency hedge fund client and many Mexican brokers could process no more than one connection to the Bolsa Mexicana de Valores (BMV) at a time. The landscape has changed quickly and improvements in broker and exchange systems have ushered in a new capacity for speed in the transmission and execution of orders in Mexico.

Over the summer a major milestone occurred for the industry. Working with the BMV, Mexico’s brokers completed an industry-wide upgrade to FIX 4.4. The top 25 brokers are now certified with FIX 4.4 to the BMV. Leading the way, are brokerages like GBM, Interacciones, Actinver, UBS Mexico, IXE and others.

Now that Mexican brokers speak FIX 4.4, all of the order routing to the BMV can now be done through FIX allowing the BMV to retire the antiquated SETRIB protocol. The only way the BMV will allow Mexican brokers to continue to use SETRIB is by paying excessive fees, and even this will not be allowed by the end of 2011. Retiring SETRIB sets the stage for more positive changes in the industry and at the BMV.

Work is already underway to upgrade the BMV’s trade matching engine. The existing engine was built in the 1990s for a Tandem mainframe. Retiring the Tandem has many benefits. Faster order matching and processing is high on the list. In addition, more choices for application and software vendors and significant cost savings are expected. Retiring the mainframe will also eliminate the scheduling nightmares associated with the limited availability of the central mainframe for testing with the broker community. The new matching engine will be hosted on modern Unix based hardware. The release of the new matching engine and infrastructure is planned for the first quarter of 2012.

Another important milestone is the availability of a state-of-the-art co-location facility at KIO Santa Fe. The BMV infrastructure is located here and starting in October it will be easy for brokers and third party providers to collocate order routing and market data in this hosting facility leading to high throughput low latency services.

While all of the infrastructure and matching engine upgrades are momentous, they would bear no fruit without the simultaneous modernization of Mexican regulations. The initiative to modernize Mexico’s regulations, called RINO, began a year ago and phase two is due to rollout in the fall of 2011. The goal of RINO is to conform Mexican regulations to international standards. By converging with international standards, regulators hope to bring more international order flow and greater liquidity to the market, resulting in increased investment in the Mexican market.

While regulations in the US like Sarbanes Oxley and Dodd-Frank can be seen to drive businesses offshore, the regulatory changes in Mexico are removing handcuffs from businesses and facilitating opportunities. The first step forward occurred early this year with RINO I. RINO I allowed brokers to have multiple channels to the BMV’s electronic trading system. Previously all orders were in a single queue. Multiple access points per broker provides more flexibility in executing strategies and handling client requests, including separate BMV channels for program trading and orders called into the trading desk. RINO I also eliminated sizebased criteria from order management,  thus leveling the playing field in the processing of orders. RINO II takes effect on October 10, 2011, bringing more modernizations including pegged orders, improvements in crossing operations, average price operations, price delivery regardless of volume, and decimal bids for fixed income securities.

Crosses, in which a brokerage carries out a transaction through the stock exchange between two of its clients, were permitted previously but the rules were very arcane. Starting in October, the crossing operations will be vastly simplified allowing clients to simply choose whether to cross inside or outside the spread. With this modernization, the BMV hopes to repatriate orders that brokers would previously carry out in the US, where crossing orders was possible using ADRs in dark pools or at the NYSE.

In addition the RINO II regulations a very important new mid-point hidden book order. The orders execute at the midpoint, broker anonymity is guaranteed and the order priority is determined by volume. This is effectively a dark pool. Similar to Xetra, this new BMV order helps the market participants and simultaneously protects the BMV from  providers toying with moving into the Mexican marketplace.

As the regulations modernize and the FIX infrastructure hardens, opportunity beckons. Brokers are beginning to push for more high frequency trading algorithms, more efficient routing of international orders, and more sophisticated risk controls, all of which will attract even more international business. As the need for speed grows, co-location previously offered by the exchange may become more strategic, particularly to brokers wanting to attract high frequency traders.

All of this progress was made possible in large part because of the exchange’s demutualization and subsequent listing in 2008. The demutualization coincided with rule changes allowing Mexico’s pension funds or AFORES to invest. Before the rule changes, the AFORES were forced to invest almost entirely in short-term government paper. Today, Mexico’s pension funds are allowed to invest up to 25 percent, in individual stocks and shares and 12 percent in a hybrid of corporate debt and equity capital to allow companies to raise funds to expand businesses.

Considered together, regulatory improvements and infrastructure updates have morphed the BMV and the Mexican brokerage community into a thriving and modern marketplace. The BMV reported a 22 percent jump in earnings last year, with operating income increasing 70 percent in the last three months. A record six initial public offerings made it to market last year and overall trading volumes rose 50 percent in 2010. This year Mexico’s IPC index has tested and hovered near record highs.

In 2011 there are fewer IPOs, but trading volume remains strong. The order-routing agreement signed with Chicago’s CME Group has opened Mexico’s derivatives market to the world. Now, electronic trading infrastructure and investor friendly regulations have set the stage for act two.

Latin America has enjoyed a strong recovery for the most part it has sailed through the recession without lasting damage. Boosted by capital inflows, by record prices for commodity exports, by sound policies and by a heady expansion in domestic credit, the region saw economic growth of 6% last year and is on course to notch close to 5% this year. The region faces slower growth but not disaster. To up the pace, now is the time for reforms to boost productivity.

The main engines for growth in Latin America are China’s demand for minerals, food stuffs and raw materials – this looks set to continue – and consumption as tens of millions edge out of poverty and benefit from newly available credit.

Source: FIX Global Trading, 15.09.2011

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Filed under: BMV - Mexico, FIX Connectivity, Latin America, Market Data, Mexico, News, Risk Management, Trading Technology, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Brazil: High Frequency Trading in Brazil: Mirage or Miracle?

Christian Zimmer, Head of Quantitative Trading and Research, and Hellinton Hatsuo Takada, Quantitative Trader, of Itaú Asset Management reveal the truth about high frequency trading in Brazil.

Conference panels, discussions and articles on High Frequency Trading (HFT) generally start with its definition. The term HFT is like ‘Cleopatra’ – sexy and mysterious and everyone is keen to know more about it. But the term HFT speaks for itself, so is it wasting time to go over it again?

Probably, because the term ‘high’ only has meaning relative to an external point of reference, just like cold, hot, sweet or other adjectives. This subjectivity is all the more interesting, as it is extremely difficult to measure an investor’s  brief holding period in most financial markets and, therefore, determine if it really is ‘high’. Unlike in the US, where the exchanges do not register the origin of the trade, Brazilian regulation allows BM&FBOVESPA to identify the final client on every trade. Consequently, it is much easier to measure the holding period of an investor for each asset. Also, this rule is the means by which the exchange determines whether an investor’s trade is classified as a ‘day trade’ and is thus eligible for reduced fees.

Naturally, BM&FBOVESPA does not classify a trader opening a position in the morning and closing it at the end of the day as a high frequency trader. There should be far more trading than this to qualify as HFT.  But how much more? It depends on the exchange’s criteria and reference point for ‘high’.

Figures for HFT published by BM&FBOVESPA in their April 2011report show 3.9% of the BM&F segment is high frequency and 5.9% of the BOVESPA segment. Consequently, the reduced fees are presented to the Brazilian trading community as less of an issue, as they say there is evidence of HFT taking hold. But HFT volume is not really increasing and is still far off the US figures which are often cited at around 60-70%. After carefully observing BM&FBOVESPA market prices, it is easy to conclude that it would take some time (possibly hours) to have a change in the prices sufficiently large enough to pay the transaction costs.Remember that HFT strategies are very sensitive to transaction costs.

Our suggestion is to step away from making subjective references to ‘high frequency’. Instead, one should look at the underlying trading strategies. The incentives an exchange should create to attract flow must be adjusted to the strategies that are really needed. Each strategy deserves a different set of policies and this will help the diversification of the traders’ strategies.

A trader using a market maker strategy can live with exchange fees as long as the bid-ask spread is sufficiently high. If the spread narrows, the costs become crucial and the exchange must lower the fees in order to keep this client in the market. On the other hand, a directional trader has different issues; if the fees are high, a trader must wait longer for a relevant price move so that they can capitalize on their position. Contrary to the market maker, the directional trader loves to see narrow bid-ask spreads. There would be no need to lower fees when the spread is close. The same is true for the statistical arbitrage traders.

When looking at the third party analyses of HFT in the international markets, we often see that the most common strategy is the market maker approach. This fact is strongly influenced by market fragmentation, which we do not have in Brazil. Fragmentation creates new intermarket trades, which could qualify as arbitrage trades, but not necessarily as market maker trades. Fragmentation also makes exchanges and other venues compete for the customers that provide liquidity and, as a result, give incentives to market makers. As mentioned above, Brazil does not have a fragmented market and BM&FBOVESPA does not see it necessary to ask for more liquidity. At least not as long as international capital flows are strong and increasing. Liquidity is needed in second tier shares and below.

It remains to be seen whether the inventive BM&FBOVESPA program to exempt the officially designated market makers from exchange fees will be enough to stimulate other participants to trade. At least theoretically, this provides an entry/ exit point for statistical arbitrage traders. However, as long as the allowed spreads can be as large as 1%, the strategy might not be necessarily profitable. At this moment it is worth noting that most of the Brazilian statistical arbitrage trades are longshort trades in stocks focusing on preferred-common stock relationships (in Brazil they are known as PNON, with PN standing for preferred stocks and ON for common ones).

It is also interesting to look at statistical arbitrage trades that are latency dependent, i.e. true arbitrage trades. Are these the ‘true’ high frequency traders? If there are only a few trading opportunities per day, it does not seem as if BM&FBOVESPA could classify them as high frequency. Latency sensitive traders typically use what the exchange refers to as the DMA3 (clients directly sending orders through a connection to the exchange) or DMA4 (co-location) categories. Trades through these categories can easily be measured. Unfortunately, the ability to measure the latency sensitive flow is lost because the DMA3 category is also used for any direct sponsored customer trades, so all that remains is to  measure the flow from the co-location model.

If we use the DMA4 numbers as the reference point for HFT, then we reach a HFT participation figure of 2.8% in the BM&F segment and about 2% in the BOVESPA segment (as at April 2011). The BM&FBOVESPA DMA4 measurements are significantly lower than their HFT percentages. This suggests they accounted additional strategies into this pool, such as market making strategies. Theoretically market makers could have contributed to this figure, but because of a very narrow spread in the high volume stocks and high fees, it is reasonable to assume that the market making strategy does not contribute too much to the HFT volume.

One might argue that there are still the directional trades. Yet, as this strategy needs a certain price move before it can make money and the number of trades per day is limited. On the other hand, the number of traders that might be using this strategy is not limited, as the models are nearly all different. There are only about ten Brazilian players able to successfully run intraday directional trades. Perhaps we should conclude that the international players have better models or a better understanding of the market?

Recently, BM&FBOVESPA announced a new pricing model for high-frequency traders, which uses the Average Daily Trading Value (ADTV) to calculate fees in its equity market. Fees range from 0.019% for R$20 million ADTV up to 0.01% for firms trading over R$500 million ADTV. Ironically, almost no firms were able to qualify as ‘high frequency’ players within the exchange’s cost reduction program.

Source:FIXGloabalTrading, 15.06.2011

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Filed under: BM&FBOVESPA, Brazil, Exchanges, Latin America, Trading Technology, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

RTS Introduces Ultra-Fast Gateway to CME Group; Internal Latency Less than 100-150 Microseconds

Next step in RTS technology roadmap to further enhance performance of its high frequency, ultra low latency offering.

RTS Realtime Systems Group, a leading global trading solutions provider, today announced that it has released a new ultra-low latency gateway for its RTD Tango and RTD Tango Trader clients, accessing CME Group with an internal latency of 100-150 microseconds. Client feedback during Beta testing has indicated that the new connectivity, as part of an off-the-shelf algorithmic trading solution, is the fastest among those currently available.

RTD Tango is the RTS event-based algorithmic trading platform. The firm recently introduced RTD Tango Trader as a first-of-its kind comprehensive trading solution that combines the advantages of “point and click” and high-speed algorithmic trading. Both platforms are powered by the same low latency, back-end technology.

Bypassing a layer in the connectivity cycle, the new gateway achieves a 60 percent speed and performance improvement over the existing RTS interface and includes pre-trade risk checking. The time-critical order handling component is located on the Tango server, allowing orders to go straight from the RTD Tango engine into the CME iLink connectivity. The new connectivity to CME Group provides access to all of the products traded on the Globex® electronic platform.

Said Steffen Gemuenden: “We are seeing internal latency on the new RTD Tango and RTD Tango Trader CME gateway ranging from 100 microseconds to 150 microseconds. This streamlined connectivity, which we plan to introduce later this year at other major exchanges globally, is the next step in our commitment to providing the fastest, most reliable exchange access possible for the world’s most demanding financial institutions.”

RTS recently introduced a 64-bit version of RTD Tango and RTD Tango Trader that enables clients to maximize the power of their hardware capabilities, further improving throughput and reducing latency. This feature is particularly appealing to clients performing extreme stress testing or back-testing hundreds of strategies simultaneously using full historical tick data.

Source: RTS 28.09.2010

Filed under: Exchanges, FIX Connectivity, Market Data, Trading Technology, , , , , , , , , ,

FPL: Mexico FIX Event 30.09.2010

The FPL Mexican Briefing will provide an unrivalled opportunity for industry representatives to participate in a forum where the real issues, challenges and opportunities impacting the region’s electronic trading community will be addressed. Through a series of presentations and panel sessions this one day event, closing with networking drinks, will offer an invaluable and informative experience for local market participants who will benefit from:

  • An interactive program that truly addresses market needs, providing impartial, high quality content
  • The knowledge and experience of industry leading speakers
  • Separate business and technical streams that generate intelligent debate and educational opportunities
  • Significant networking opportunities throughout the day and into the evening at the post-event cocktail party

A dedicated team of industry practitioners from the FIX Protocol Mexican Working Group, including senior representatives from some of the region’s leading investment firms, who have a detailed understanding of the challenges facing the markets today, are driving the event agenda to ensure it meets the trading needs of firms in Mexico in 2010.

Mexico FIX Event 2010

2010 Topic Areas will include:

  • Algorithmic trading and the options available to the Mexican trader
  • High frequency trading and the opportunities and challenges it presents
  • The technical and regulatory developments emerging in the Mexican markets including the RINO rules
  • Key trends emerging in the local market and how to trade more easily internationally
  • Implementing the FIX Protocol
  • Using FIX to achieve a low latency solution
  • The recently released FIX algorithmic trading definition language (FIXatdlSM): Generating cost saving and efficiency gains for all market participants involved in the algorithmic trading process
  • The use of FIX beyond equities in multiple asset classes

Source: FPL 08.09 2010

Filed under: BMV - Mexico, Exchanges, FiNETIK Events, FIX Connectivity, Latin America, Mexico, News, Trading Technology, , , , , , , , , ,

Asia E-Trading: Electronic Trading in China – Webinar September 7th

Asia E Trading presents the free  1 hour web-seminar : Electronic Trading in China

  • Overview of the Electronic Trading industry
  • Buy-side Algorithmic Trading
  • CSI300 Index future
  • Latest news on QFII and QDII
  • High Frequency Trading and Colocation
  • Update: Shanghai and Shenzhen Exchange

Speakers are:

Lionel Sancenot – Sungard- MD NE Asia & Greater China

Bill LiuQing Ma Investments -Portfolio Manager

Zennon Kapron – KapronAsia- Principal

REGISTER HERE

Date: 07. September 2010

TIME: 5pm Hong Kong, 10am London, 5am New York

The seminar will be recorded and available on demand

Filed under: China, Exchanges, FIX Connectivity, Trading Technology, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Brazil: BM&FBOVESPA Monthly News August 2010

BVMF NEWS – August 2010 Complete and Detailed Version

  • CVM authorizes BM&FBOVESPA to implement new DMA modalities in the Bovespa segment
  • New Fee Policy for High-Frequency Traders (HFT)
  • BM&FBOVESPA presents new financial education campaign
  • Itaú Unibanco S.A. is selected to manage the Financial ETF
  • Reduction in the round lot for ETFs to facilitate the access of individual investors
  • Deadline extended for approval of amendments to the listing rules for the special listing segments
  • On August 13th BM&FBOVESPA announced its 2010 second quarter earnings
  • MARKET RESULTS – BM&F Segment July 2010
  • MARKET RESULTS – BOVESPA Segment July 2010

Filed under: BM&FBOVESPA, Brazil, Exchanges, Latin America, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

SEC begins overhaul of US equity markets with ban on DMA, investigate ATS, Dark Pools and HTF’s

The US Securities and Exchange Commission has proposed new rules prohibiting broker-dealers from providing customers with unfiltered or naked access to an exchange or ATS. The watchdog has also called for comment on issues relating to high-frequency trading, co-locating trading terminals and dark pool trading as it seeks to re-write the rule-book for a new era of computer-driven trading.


Approximately 38% of the daily volume in US equity markets is traded by firms accessing trading venues via sponsored or direct market access arrangements through their broker-dealers.

The SEC’s proposed rule would require brokers to put in place risk management controls that would help prevent erroneous orders, ensure compliance with regulatory requirements, and enforce pre-set credit or capital thresholds.

“Unfiltered access is similar to giving your car keys to a friend who doesn’t have a license and letting him drive unaccompanied,” says SEC chairman Mary Schapiro. “Today’s proposal would require that if a broker-dealer is going to loan his keys, he must not only remain in the car, but he must also see to it that the person driving observes the rules before the car is ever put into drive.”

The rule change comes amid a broad review of rapidly-changing US equity market structures by the SEC which is under pressure from Washington to protect the interests of long-term investors and preserve the market’s primary function as a mechanism for capital formation.

With this in mind, the watchdog has issued a “concept release” seeking public comment on issues relating to high frequency trading, co-location, and dark pool trading.

The release asks a series of specific questions about the current market structure, including:

Market quality metrics

  • What are the best metrics for assessing market quality for long-term investors and have these metrics improved or worsened in recent years?

Fairness of market structure

  • Is the current highly automated, high-speed market structure fundamentally fair for investors?

High frequency trading

  • What types of strategies are used by the proprietary trading firms loosely referred to as high frequency traders, and are these strategies beneficial or harmful for other investors?
  • Is the overall use of any harmful strategies by proprietary firms sufficiently widespread that the Commission should consider a regulatory initiative in this area?

Co-location

  • Do co-location services (which enable exchange customers to potentially route trades faster by placing their computer servers in close proximity to an exchange’s computer system) give proprietary trading firms an unfair advantage?
  • If so, should the proprietary firms that use these services be subject to any specific trading obligations?

Dark liquidity

  • Has the trading volume of undisplayed trading centers (such as dark pools) reached a sufficiently significant level that it has detracted from the quality of public price discovery?
  • If more individual investor orders were routed to public markets, would it promote quote competition in the public markets, lead to narrower spreads, and ultimately improve order execution quality for individual investors beyond current levels?
  • Are a significant number of individual investor orders executed in dark pools and, if so, what is the execution quality for these orders?

Source: Finextra, 14.10.2010

Filed under: Exchanges, News, Risk Management, Trading Technology, , , , , , , , ,