FiNETIK – Asia and Latin America – Market News Network

Asia and Latin America News Network focusing on Financial Markets, Energy, Environment, Commodity and Risk, Trading and Data Management

SMX To List TOCOM Products

Singapore Mercantile Exchange (SMX), the first pan-Asian multi-product commodity and currency derivatives exchange, and the Tokyo Commodity Exchange, Inc. (TOCOM), Japan’s leading commodity futures exchange, today announced that they have signed a licensing agreement for SMX to list Contracts* on TOCOM products.

Building upon the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed on 23 April 2010 to explore mutually beneficial partnerships, senior officials from both exchanges signed a licensing agreement which would see the listing of several SMX TOCOM Contracts for products already being traded on TOCOM. These include crude oil, gasoline, kerosene and gas oil. The agreement does not rule out the possibility of cross-listing wherein TOCOM might also list SMX products.

Agreement terms include the license for SMX to use TOCOM prices as the last settlement price, delivery price, reference price and daily settlement price and/or final settlement price for SMX TOCOM Contracts.

Mr. Thomas McMahon, Chief Executive Officer of SMX, said: “This agreement is exciting for us for several reasons. Aside from augmenting our initial MoU and being able to roll-out contracts the markets are already familiar with, our foremost aim to develop a credible pan-Asian platform is being achieved at good speed. We are encouraged by TOCOM’s enthusiasm and foresight for a united Asian derivatives marketplace, and will be announcing more of such developments in the coming months. We must embrace exchange partnerships as crucial steps to reducing fragmentation of derivatives trading during Asian business hours.”

Mr. Tadashi Ezaki, President and Chief Executive Officer of TOCOM, said: “SMX is the up-and-coming derivatives exchange in Asia, which commenced trading in August this year and grows rapidly with an increasing range of listed products. We expect that licensing SMX to use TOCOM prices for their new products to be listed shall help increase arbitrage between TOCOM and SMX increase, and accordingly enhance the convenience of the markets. We continue to work together with SMX to further develop derivatives trading in Asia.”

The listed commodities currently trading on TOCOM include futures and options contracts for gold, and futures contracts for silver, platinum, palladium, gasoline, kerosene, gas oil, crude oil, rubber and Nikkei-TOCOM Commodity Index. SMX launched live trading on 31 August 2010 with four products consisting of Futures Contracts on crude oil benchmarks Brent Crude Oil priced in Euros and West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil, Gold with physical delivery-based settlement and Euro-US Dollar Currency Futures.

In August 2010, market leaders in low latency services in Japan and Singapore – KVH Co., Ltd. (KVH) and Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) respectively announced provision of KVH-SingTel?s low latency network solutions to market participants, enabling both exchanges to facilitate an ultra low latency and fully redundant network service between Japan and Singapore.

* Subject to regulatory approval by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)

Source:MondoVisione 15.10.2010

 

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Filed under: Exchanges, Japan, News, Singapore, , , , , , , , , , , ,

RTS Offers Access to New Trading Platform for Pan-Asian Market on Singapore Mercantile Exchange

SMX Launch Further Builds on RTS Low Latency Solutions in Asia

RTS Realtime Systems Group, a leading global trading solutions provider, announced today that the firm will provide connectivity and low latency access to the Singapore Mercantile Exchange (SMX) from its first day of trading, which will be 31 August 2010.

The new pan-Asian commodity and currency derivatives exchange will launch using a state-of-the-art global futures and options trading platform for products which include precious metals, base metals, agricultural commodities, energy, currencies and commodity indices.

Leveraging on its parent conglomerate Financial Technologies (India) Limited, who has designed and provided the end-to-end technology solution, the Exchange provides an application programming interface (API) to enable global independent software vendor (ISV) integration and thus facilitate a cross section of trading members, institutions and other financial market participants to trade on the Exchange. Members also have the option to write their own APIs for connectivity. Financial Technologies (India) Limited’s highly robust and scalable trading technology gives SMX the agility and adaptability which ensures its edge in the financial markets.

RTS recently announced the global launch of a first-of-its-kind trading solution combining the advantages of “point-and-click” and algorithmic trading. Called RTD Tango Trader, it is designed to leverage firms’ existing infrastructure and enable more brokers, traders and clients to benefit from customized algorithms. The firm’s high performance solutions are used by leading financial firms to trade across asset classes on 120+ exchanges and execution venues globally, including a wide range of major Asian exchanges.

Alex Lamb, RTS Executive Board Member, said: “We are pleased to offer access from day one to this truly pan-Asian commodity and currency derivatives exchange for our clients in the region and across the world, particularly given the tremendous interest they’ve already expressed in the opportunity. The breadth of products will create new avenues for arbitrage and effective risk management.”

Thomas J. McMahon, Chief Executive Officer of SMX, said: “As we look forward to attracting new product listings from around the world and Asia, we are very pleased to welcome trading firms globally who use the advanced technology and infrastructure of RTS which brings in a number of important algorithmic traders to SMX. Our global trading venue is well positioned to serve as a gateway for commodities in Asia, synchronizing derivatives and physical trading in commodities within the Asian time zone.”

Source: RTS, 19.08.2010

Filed under: Exchanges, News, Singapore, Trading Technology, , , , , , , , , , ,

SMX To Go-Live On 31 August 2010

Singapore Mercantile Exchange (SMX), the first pan-Asian multi-product commodity and currency derivatives exchange, today announced that the Exchange will go live for trading on 31 August 2010.

With rapid economic expansion in the region and Asia’s demand for commodities, SMX is strongly positioned to offer an integrated and single-platform for multiple products. It has completed conformance testing with Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) and industry- wide testing with member firms prior to its impending launch.

Mr. Jignesh Shah, Vice Chairman of SMX and Group CEO of Financial Technologies Group, said, “SMX’s platform will herald Asia?s first stand-alone and next-generation global derivatives exchange for unrestricted cross-border trading in futures, options and other derivatives across multiple asset classes. We are looking forward to our newest venture to establish a footprint for transparent electronic trading that will manifest itself as a major platform for price discovery for commodities trading in Asia. SMX is well poised to unlock the immense potential of Asia and further position the region as a leading derivatives trading hub.”

Mr. Thomas J. McMahon, CEO of SMX, said, “We are witnessing Asia?s expanding influence on the global commodities market. SMX?s launch is a step in the right direction as we leverage off Singapore?s unique position as a premier financial and commercial hub in the region. The launch will provide market players in Asia the flexibility to trade products generic to regional trade flows within the Asian business day.”

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) recently granted SMX „Approved Exchange” status to operate as a regulated and fully licensed exchange.

The first phase of product launches will include a Gold Futures Contract with physical delivery in high-security vaults in Singapore, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) Crude Oil, Brent-Euro Crude Oil and Euro-US Dollar Futures Contracts, amongst others. The first phase of product launches will be followed by multiple product launches to be introduced in the market after consultation with industry participants.

Source, MondoVisione, 17.08.2010

Filed under: Exchanges, News, Singapore, , , , , , , , , ,

MetaBit Trading Technology and Services opens Hong Kong Office

Tokyo/Hong Kong, 18 May 2010 – Specialist DMA and exchange connectivity solution provider MetaBit opens its Hong Kong office in May 2010 as part of its business expansion in Asia.
 
The new Hong Kong office represents a further strategic milestone for MetaBit to accelerate the expansion of its rapidly growing Asian client base and support its strategic objective to service Asia’s financial markets with localized and low latency trading solutions.  The Hong Kong office will promote and support institutional DMA, algo and manual trading across fourteen Asian markets.
 
MetaBit have also announced the appointment of Claus Kwon as managing director for the Asia Pacific ex-Japan business.
 
“I am very pleased to have Claus Kwon taking responsibility to further expand MetaBit’s business outside Japan” says Daniel Burgin, CEO at MetaBit.  “With Mr Kwon’s appointment, MetaBit continues to proactively build on its success and reputation earned through the quality of its technology and MetaBit’s continuous efforts in helping its clients achieve greater trading efficiency. Headquartered in Tokyo, our company is firmly rooted in Asia.  The addition of the Hong Kong office strengthens MetaBit’s ability to deliver the best solution with service catered for local needs.”
 
“I am excited to be joining MetaBit as their business expands in the region and as electronic trading continues to develop at an incredible rate in Asia,” says Mr Kwon. “MetaBit has a history of delivering innovative electronic trading solutions to both global and local clients in the Asia markets. Whilst MetaBit’s solutions are global by underlying technology, their unique infrastructure supports businesses that are serious about their Asia operations and want to stay competitive in this market.”
 
Today, MetaBit covers all of Asia’s DMA and Algo markets through its flagship trading platform XiliX, its vendor neutral FIX hub MLH (Market Liquidity Hub), and Alpha, its ultra-low latency exchange connectivity solution.
With the opening of a Hong Kong office, MetaBit – a pro-active promoter of the FIX Protocol – has formally joined the FPL.
 
About MetaBit –
 
MetaBit is a specialist low latency DMA trading solution provider in Asia reducing transaction processing times and  increasing trading opportunities by providing FIX enabled DMA and algorithmic trading access to market liquidity across fourteen Asia’s markets, including Japan.
 
MetaBit’s flagship products are the XiliX™ intuitive buy side DMA trading platform and MLH, a vendor neutral Market Liquidity Hub. Other products are Alpha, ultra-low latency exchange connectivity to Japan’s exchanges and EXSiM – Japan exchange simulators.  All of MetaBit’s products are powered by the CameronFIX Engine.

Source: Metabit, 18.05.2010

Koji Ito
+81-3-3664-4160
sales@meta-bit.com

Filed under: Asia, Australia, FIX Connectivity, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, News, Singapore, Trading Technology, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

SGX Launches “Trading Strategies Series” Investor Education Series

Singapore Exchange today launched the “Trading Strategies Series” of articles for investors.

Aimed at making professional trading methods accessible to a wider group of investors, the “Trading Strategies Series” is part of investor education efforts by SGX to broaden the knowledge of market participants and over time, enhance market depth.

The series will kick off with six articles on “pair trading”, a trading strategy that can be used in both bull and bear markets. This strategy starts off with the investor selecting two financial products (for example, two stocks, two futures contracts or two exchange traded funds) with prices that tend to move together or are, in other words, highly correlated. When the price ratio of this pair exceeds their normal range, the investor will buy (or go long) one of the two stocks and sells (or go short) a position in another.

Various financial products such as Extended Settlements Contracts (ES), Exchange Traded Funds (ETF)  and Index Futures contracts will be placed under the spotlight in the “pair trading” articles. Written in simple English, the articles provide a step-by-step guide on the trading method, from the identification of highly correlated pairs to simulations using real-live historical data.

The “Trading Strategies Series” of articles are available to the public at

http://www.sgx.com/wps/portal/marketplace/mp-en/investor_centre/investor_resources/educational_articles/trading_strategies_header

and, www.sias.org.sg and seminars covering these topics will be conducted in the coming months.

Source: MondoVisione, 23.02.2010

Filed under: Exchanges, News, Singapore, , , , , , ,

Santander starts marketing Latin American funds in Asia

Banco Santander, a Spanish bank with a large presence in Europe and Latin America, has created a new role in Hong Kong to develop its asset-management business in Asia.

With the necessary licences in place, Alexander de Laiglesia will concentrate on selling funds manufactured by Santander Asset Management in Latin America and Europe to Asian wholesale distributors and asset managers.

De Laiglesia, a managing director, has been with the firm for 20 years, starting in Tokyo as a deputy branch manager. He returned to Japan from Madrid in 2002 with a secondment to Shinsei Bank. He moved to Hong Kong last year, and has been developing the asset-management role for the past several months. De Laiglesia has also worked in Hong Kong and the Middle East in the 1980s with Standard Chartered Bank, and he speaks Japanese.

Santander pursues a universal banking model in its core markets of Spain, Portugal, the UK and the countries of Latin America, including Brazil, as well as the US. The bank has built investment teams in those countries.

The group mainly provides local products to its local investors. It cross-sells some products to provide these local customers with international exposure and may also provide third-party funds. Worldwide, Santander Asset Management manages €120 billion ($168 billion) of assets.

Asian markets are not core to this business. “We are not here to manage assets,” says de Laiglesia. “We are here to channel investments from Asia to our core markets.” That means competing in the niche of selling Latin America funds to Asian wholesalers and domestic fund houses. Santander will also seek to develop sales to institutional investors as well.

“We are the largest regional asset manager in Latin America, with big investment teams in markets such as Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Argentina,” de Laiglesia says.

Santander has already notched up business in Japan as adviser to a couple of Brazil equity funds launched by Daiwa Asset Management, and in Korea, where Industrial Bank of Korea sells a Latin America equities product. Japan, in particular, has wealth, its investors are comfortable with Brazilian securities and that’s an asset class where domestic asset managers do not have a local presence, de Laiglesia says.

Santander is flexible with regard to the type of relationship it will pursue with Asian distributors; it may act as an investment adviser, a provider of white-label products or a provider of mutual funds from its Luxembourg range. The firm will also seek segregated mandates from or sales of its Luxembourg funds to Asian institutions.

In addition to applying for regulatory licences, de Laiglesia is still researching which markets to focus on and which thematic products to highlight. Japan is the priority, but the region’s other large markets — Australia, Greater China, Singapore and South Korea — are also important.

Source: AsianInvestor.net, 02.02.2010

Filed under: Asia, Australia, Banking, Brazil, China, Colombia, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Latin America, Malaysia, Mexico, News, Peru, Services, Singapore, Wealth Management, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Goldman Sachs ‘to monitor potential Asian real estate bubbles’

Fred Hu, Goldman Sachs’s chairman of Greater China, has said that the financial institution’s operations in Asia are keeping a close eye on the development of potential real estate bubbles.

Among the countries causing the most concern to Goldman Sachs are Hong Kong, Singapore and China, Mr Hu said.

China recorded its highest growth in property prices for 18 months in December, Singapore saw a record number of residential real estate sales in 2009 and Hong Kong house prices currently stand at their highest point in more than a decade, reports Bloomberg.

Mr Hu gave a particular warning about growth in Hong Kong and Singapore.  “I would be very skeptical about this kind of pace,” he said.

Last week, it was reported that Goldman Sachs is close to selling off a luxury real estate development in Shanghai. It is to sell the Shanghai Garden Plaza to Chinese property developer Shanghai Forte Land for $200 million, people close to the deal told Reuters.

Source: Bobsguide, 18.10.2010

Filed under: Asia, China, Hong Kong, News, Risk Management, Singapore, , , , , , , , , ,

Dark Pools: HKEx chairman slams dark pools

Ronald Arculli joins the ranks of those criticising alternative trading platforms for creating an unfair playing field.

Much has been said and written in recent months about dark pools, and on Wednesday the chairman of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing threw his hat into the ring. Not surprisingly, Ronald Arculli is not in favour of such trading platforms, which only require prices to be published after a transaction is complete.

He set out his stall in a speech at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club in Hong Kong titled ‘Roles and Challenges of Stock Exchanges’. Highlighting the benefits of exchanges (good risk management, transparency, liquidity fairness, a reliable infrastructure and central counterparty services, among other things), he said they demonstrated their worth during the crisis: “Almost all exchanges continued to function normally and remained open during the turmoil.”

Arculli also remarked that governments worldwide have recognised the “unique value” of exchanges, with a number of moves afoot to standardise over-the-counter contracts and move them onto exchanges. This is in stark contrast to well publicised concerns of regulators, such as the US Securities and Exchange Commission, as to whether dark pools create unfair advantages for some in the market. Arculli believes they do and clearly outlined his concerns.

Firstly, these platforms lack transparency, as they show buy and sell orders and deals that are not transparent or available to the general investing public, he argued, effectively creating a two-tiered market. They are typically run by broker-dealers and large market-makers looking to save on transaction costs and fees, and do not alert the broader market of impending deals which could affect a stock’s equilibrium.

Powerful technology can be used to conduct high-frequency algorithmic trading in dark pools through both on- and off-exchange platforms to profit or arbitrage on small price differences, said Arculli. This has resulted in dark pools accounting for 12% of market trades in the US now, up from 1.5% just five years ago, while in Europe they account for some 4% of equity trades. In Asia, these venues make up a much smaller percentage of the average daily turnover, he added, but in a globalised marketplace, they still raise significant concerns.

Besides transparency, another issue is that the proliferation of alternative platforms means liquidity is increasingly fragmented, diverting volumes away from publicly traded exchanges, he said. Smaller companies may suffer as high-frequency traders tend to prefer larger, more liquid shares. Such fragmentation not only affects effective price discovery, said Arculli, but also increases price volatility and adds to surveillance difficulties.

Moreover, the lack of regulation and transparency of dark pools could result in notable systemic risk, he said, citing the problems surrounding Lehman Brothers and AIG last year. “As dark pools typically lack a central counterparty, the default of a large participant could have severe consequences on market stability,” he said.

In addition, these platforms raise concerns over company ownership. “Arguably when shares are held only for fractions of a second, it is no longer about participating in the ownership of a company or ensuring it is well run,” he said. “The opaqueness of trading, and its fragmentation have negative implications for effective corporate governance.”

Arculli suggests the rise of such platforms set up by investment banks might indicate a trend towards the re-mutualisation of stock trading. Originally stock exchanges tended to be set up as associations by their trading members, he said, but have since de-mutualised and become commercial, often listed, corporate entities to better serve their stakeholders.

“Now as the bigger trading participants are getting together again to create their own networks, is the trend reversing?” said Arculli. “Complicating matters even further, some exchanges have decided to join the fray and team up with large institutions to set up their own dark pools.” Singapore Exchange’s recent tie-up with Chi-X is one such example. Other trading platform providers, such as Liquidnet, are also working on expanding into Asia.

Arculli went on to say that regulators in the EU and the US have been reviewing dark pools and considering stricter measures to ensure a fair and stable trading environment. Investors — especially institutional ones — are seeking better, faster and cheaper services for more computerised methods of trading. Hence, he added, exchanges must continue to offer better execution and more efficient pre- and post-trade services to stay competitive, while protecting investors.

Despite his worries, Arculli, said, competition is welcome. China, for example, has the capacity and the need for more than one successful financial centre. But he added a caveat.

“We welcome challenges that strengthen our markets and make them more effective and efficient,” said Arculli. “But we are concerned by those that increase systemic risk or disadvantage a certain segment of investors to the benefit of others.”

Source: AsianInvestor.net, 11.12.2009

Filed under: China, Exchanges, Hong Kong, News, Risk Management, Singapore, Trading Technology, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

RTS and Fortis Clearing First to Go Live with New SGXAccess API

RTS Realtime Systems Group, a leading global trading solutions provider, and Fortis Clearing announced today that they are the first trading solutions provider and clearing firm respectively to receive certification to offer clients access to the new equity trading system of the Singapore Exchange Ltd. (SGX).SGX moved its equity markets to a new, enhanced trading system, QUESTST, a Nasdaq OMX trading engine, earlier this year. Now, firms using RTS trading solutions will be the first to access SGX via the high-speed, low latency trading engine. Fortis Clearing is the first member to provide access through this interface for its customers.

SGX chose the new trading system to offer functionality to support the introduction of a wider range of products and better meet the needs of algorithmic and high-velocity traders, who are beginning to establish a strong presence in Asia.

Said Stéphane Lannoy, RTS Managing Director, Asia Pacific: “This announcement underscores our firm commitment to be the leading technology vendor globally in the low latency trading arena. Traders across the globe trust in our ability to offer them an edge. The increasing demand for our low latency solutions and our recent expansion in Asia speaks for itself.”

Andrew Bennett, Head of Market Access in Asia Pacific for Fortis Clearing, said: “This announcement confirms Fortis’ dedication in working with ISV’s and the exchanges to bring our clients the best possible solutions available in the low latency space.”

Rama Pillai, Senior Vice President and Head of Intermediaries & Market Access at SGX, said: “We are pleased to have RTS as the first solution provider to conform to SGX Access API, our latest securities market access service based on the native API of our QUEST-ST trading engine. Service providers such as RTS help expand our distribution by providing our global members and customers with efficient trading access to our securities and derivatives markets.”

Singapore serves as the RTS headquarters for the Asia Pacific region. RTS’ solutions are used by leading financial firms to trade across asset classes on more than 100 marketplaces globally, including major Asian financial exchanges. Its offering encompasses algorithmic trading solutions for ultralow latency trading and Direct Market Access (DMA) to more than 60 markets via its global data center hubs.

Source: RTS, 02.12.2009

Filed under: Asia, Exchanges, FIX Connectivity, News, Singapore, Trading Technology, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Singapore Exchange And GreTai Securities Market Sign Co-operation MOU

Singapore Exchange Limited (SGX) and Taiwan’s GreTai Securities Market (GTSM) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to co-operate towards the development of their respective capital markets.

The MOU aims to foster greater communication between both exchanges through areas such as staff exchange, training and the sharing of information related to market development.

SGX CEO Mr Hsieh Fu Hua said, “In our development as an Asian Gateway, Taiwan has been an important market for SGX. We share similar goals in further developing our respective SME markets and this MOU forms the basis for fruitful discussions going forward.”

GreTai Chairman Mr Gordon Shuh Chen noted, “This collaboration will benefit both GreTai and SGX and help us build a complementary relationship. With this MOU, GreTai and SGX can work hand-in-hand to create opportunities for synergy and co-operation.”

Source: MondoVision, 25.11.2009

Filed under: Asia, Exchanges, News, Singapore, , , , , ,

Asian dark pool BlocSec removes minimum order size requirement

BlocSec, the first Asian dark pool to cater to the buy-side and the sell-side, owned by CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets (‘CLSA’), will remove the current minimum US$250k or 20% of the 30-day Average Daily Volume (‘ADV’) order size requirement 1.

Removal of such minimum order size requirement will enable smaller size orders to flow into the system, increasing both liquidity and matching. BlocSec clients can continue to submit and trade large size block orders in BlocSec simply by specifying the minimum quantity fill for their executions.

Christian Chan, Director of Electronic Execution Sales, CLSA said: “We continue to improve and respond to client needs and have removed our minimum order size to source and deepen our liquidity pool, so as to provide greater flexibility across the platform and markets in which we operate.”

BlocSec has been designed to ensure complete anonymity for buyers and sellers. Order entry and matching occurs without the risk of giving away client name, side, position or price of an order which means zero information leakage.

“In addition, we have added the ability for our Client Relationship Managers to accept manual orders and route any balances to the CLSA trading desk if instructed to do so. Again, ensuring more flexibility for clients and a smooth and seamless trade flow process,” Chan added.

Since its launch in May 2008, BlocSec has become the preeminent Asian liquidity aggregator and electronic crossing network for Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and Australian equities with an average daily liquidity flow over US$77m and an average cross size of US$1.04m.

BlocSec provides traders the ability to place orders with complete anonymity and zero information leakage into the market. BlocSec continues to gather momentum and build liquidity in over 800 distinct names with 50% of all clients entering orders securing a match.

As a CLSA group company, BlocSec has a substantial community of institutional investors with the ability to provide a deep pool of liquidity. Liquidity is also maximized as BlocSec is open to both buy and sell side clients.

Source: FINEXTRA 17.11.2009

Filed under: Asia, Australia, Exchanges, Hong Kong, Japan, News, Singapore, Trading Technology, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Global warming threat for Asia financial hubs – Yangtze ‘facing climate threat’

The report, produced by WWF, the environmental pressure group, puts the two financial hubs in the top 10 cities threatened by climate change in Asia, the region widely believed to be most vulnerable to rising global temperatures.

It warns that Hong Kong is in danger from higher sea levels, which are likely to rise 40cm-60cm in China’s Pearl River delta by 2050, increasing the area of coastline that is vulnerable to flooding by up to six times.

Costs imposed by typhoons are also likely to rise dramatically, the report says, noting that 14 of the 21 extreme storm surges between 1950 and 2004 occurred after 1986.

The number of nights when Hong Kong temperatures rise above 28°C has risen almost fourfold since the 1960s, while the number of winter nights when the temperature falls below 12°C is predicted to fall from an average of 21 to zero within 50 years.

For Singapore, the report says, the sea level is forecast to rise by 60cm by the end of the century, eroding coastal protection and decreasing the shoreline of the city state, making it more vulnerable to storm surges and flooding.

The report says climate change could also increase the prevalence of dengue fever. The number of cases has been rising in periodic outbreaks and the last significant peak, in 2007, saw the third highest number of outbreaks ever.

Dhaka, the Bangladeshi capital, heads the list of the most vulnerable cities, mainly because of its position in a big river delta already subject to periodic flooding, its low average height above sea level and its poverty, which makes protection and adaptation more difficult.

Other cities at risk include Jakarta and Manila, which rank equal second, Calcutta and Phnom Penh, which are equal third, Ho Chi Minh and Shanghai, equal fourth, Bangkok, fifth, and Kuala Lumpur, which ties with Hong Kong and Singapore for sixth place.

The report calls on developed countries to agree to shoulder the bulk of the costs required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to finance an adaptation fund to pay for changes required in developing countries, and to provide recompense for losses and damage caused by climate-related catastrophes.

However, the report also says that vulnerable cities and national governments should take action themselves, including better management of coastal habitats and ecosystems.

The report is timed to influence the 21 heads of government attending this week’s Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation summit in Singapore, before the global climate change summit in Copenhagen next month.

Source: FT, 11.11 2009 by Kevin Brown in Singapore

The Yangtze river basin is being increasingly affected by extreme weather and its ecosystems are under threat, environmentalists say.

In a new report, WWF-China says the temperature in the basin area of China’s longest river has risen steadily over the past two decades.

This has led to an increase in flooding, heat waves and drought.

Further temperature rises will have a disastrous effect on biodiversity in and along the river, the report says.

The WWF – formerly known as the World Wildlife Fund – predicts that in the next 50 years temperatures will go up by between 1.5C and 2C.

The group’s report is the largest assessment yet of the impact of global warming on the Yangtze River Basin, where about 400 million people live.

Data was collected from 147 monitoring stations. The report’s lead researcher, Xu Ming, said the forthcoming Copenhagen negotiations on climate change would have an obvious and direct influence on the Yangtze.

“Controlling the future emissions of greenhouse gases will benefit the Yangtze river basin, at the very least from the perspective of drought and water resources,” he said.

The report says the predicted weather events and temperature rises will lead to declines in crop production, and rising sea levels will make coastal cities such as Shanghai vulnerable.

Some of the problems could be averted by strengthening river reinforcements, and switching to hardier crops, its authors suggest.

Source: BBC, 10.11.2009

Filed under: Asia, China, Energy & Environment, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, News, Risk Management, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Latin Asia Business (LAB) Forum returns on 12 November 2009 in Singapore/ Foro Latin Asia Business abre inversión a dos continentes.

Into its 6th edition, the LAB is widely recognised as the region’s premier event for Asia’s business leaders to network with their Latin American counterparts. This annual event provides business leaders and governments in Asia and Latin America a platform for dialogue; and also to increase access to business opportunities in both regions.

This year’s Forum takes on added significance as it is timed to coincide with the APEC CEO Summit and the APEC Leaders Meeting which will be hosted by Singapore. Set against the backdrop of the global economic crisis, the conference seeks to explore how Latin American governments are taking advantage of the economic crisis to strengthen competitiveness and increase trade flows and how Asian companies can position themselves to expand in Latin America.

Apart from the CEO-level conference, LAB delegates will also participate in customized, high quality business matching meetings, site visits and networking sessions coordinated by IE Singapore.

About Latin Asia Business Forum

Pioneered and developed by International Enterprise (IE) Singapore, the LAB is a key annual platform to foster stronger trade and investment linkages between Latin America and Asia. The event brings together delegates representing more than 20 countries to explore investment and partnership opportunities, share best practices, strategies, market experiences and expertise for doing business in Latin America and Asia, and network with decision makers from both continents.

Speakers from Mexico attending the Latin Asia Business Forum 2009

LAB 2009 will see the participation of high-level Mexican government and business representatives:

-His Excellency Gerardo Ruiz Mateos, Minister of Economy, Mexico:
Speaker on Panel #1: What does the future hold for free trade in Latin America

-Mr Lorenzo Gonzalez, Managing Director, Temasek Mexico:
Speaker on Panel #2: Can Asia Plug the Investment Gap in Latin America?

-Mr Guillermo Romo, Co-Chairman, Americas Business Council:
Speaker on Panel #3: New Business Leadership Models – Challenges and Options for the Next Generation?

-Mr Mauricio Millan, Vice Chairman, Coraza Corporacion Azteca S.A. de C.V.
Speaker on Panel #3: New Business Leadership Models – Challenges and Options for the Next Generation?

Please refer to www.latinasiabiz.com for latest updates regarding the programme and speakers.

Mexican Delegations participating in Latin Asia Business Forum 2009

Amb Sergio Ley, President of the Asia-Pacific Directorate from the Mexican Business Council for Foreign Trade, Investment & Technology (COMCE), will be leading a business delegation to Singapore for LAB 2009. During their visit to Singapore they will be meeting with different Singapore-based companies to discuss potential for collaboration.

Source:E-MID, 27.10.2009

Foro Latin Asia Business abre inversión a dos continentes

En su 6a. edición, el Foro Latin Asia Business (LAB) es ampliamente reconocido como el principal evento de la región por los líderes de negocio de Asia, para crear redes con sus contrapartes latinoamericanos.

Este evento anual provee a los líderes de negocios y a gobiernos de Asia y Latinoamérica de una plataforma para el diálogo además de incrementar el acceso a oportunidades de negocios para ambas regiones.

El Foro de este año toma un significado extra debido a que fue programado para coincidir con la reunión APEC CEO Summit y con el APEC Leaders Meeting que será celebrado en Singapur.

A partir del escenario de la crisis mundial, la conferencia busca explorar cómo los gobiernos de Latino América  toman ventaja de la crisis económica para fortalecer su competitividad e incrementar el flujo de comercio y cómo las compañías asiáticas pueden posicionarse para expandirse a Latino América.

Además de esta conferencia a nivel Presidente y Director general, los delegados de LAB  también participarán en reuniones de negocios hechas a la medida y de alta calidad, visitas a sitios, sesiones para redes de trabajo coordinadas por IE Singapore.

Acerca del Foro Latin Asia Business

Creado por primera vez y desarrollado por International Enterprise (IE) Singapore, el LAB es una plataforma anual clave para fomentar el comercio y vínculos de inversión entre Latino América y  Asia. El evento trae consigo delegados que representan a más de veinte países para explorar invertir y consolidar oportunidades para asociarse con otros, compartir mejores prácticas, estrategias, experiencias de mercado y conocimiento para hacer negocios en Latino América y Asia, además de establecer redes con tomadores de decisiones de mercado de ambos continentes.

Conferencistas de México que asistirán al  Foro Latin Asia Business 2009

LAB 2009 verá la participación de representantes de negocios y ejecutivos de alto nivel de gobierno mexicano tales como:

El Secretario de Economía de México, Gerardo Ruiz Mateos:
Orador del Panel #1: ¿Qué depara el futuro para el libre comercio en Latino América?

-Sr. Lorenzo González, Director General de Temasek México:
Orador del Panel #2: ¿Puede Asia cerrar la brecha de inversión en Latino América?

-Sr Guillermo Romo, Presidente Adjunto de Americas Business Council:
Orador del Panel #3: Modelos Liderazgo para Nuevos Negocios – Retos y Opciones para la Próxima Generación

-Sr Mauricio Millán, Vicepresidente, Coraza Corporación Azteca S.A. de C.V.
Orador del Panel #3: Modelos de Liderazgo para Nuevos Negocios – Retos y Opciones para la Próxima Generación

Por favor visite www.latinasiabiz.com para obtener las últimas actualizaciones relativas al programa y a los ponentes.

Delegaciones Mexicanas que participan en el Foro Latin Asia Business 2009

Embajador Sergio Ley, Presidente de la Dirección Asia-Pacífico del Consejo Empresarial Mexicano de Comercio Exterior, Inversión y Tecnología (COMCE), será el líder de una delegación de negocios que asistirá a Singapur para el LAB 2009. Durante su visita a Singapur se reunirán con diferentes empresas basadas en Singapur para discutir temas relacionados con una potencial colaboración.

Filed under: Asia, Brazil, Events, Latin America, Mexico, News, Singapore, , , ,

SMX Singapore Mercantile Exchange successfully completes Go-Live testing

Taking the next big step towards its launch, the Singapore Mercantile Exchange (“SMX” or the “Exchange”) has successfully completed the testing of its electronic trading platform, risk management and clearing & settlement systems. The Exchange received overwhelming support from the industry which included participation from clearing members, broking houses, high frequency traders, and independent software vendors. The Go-Live testing was conducted over four days from October 20 to October 23, 2009.

The Go-Live testing was conducted in an environment which mirrored the actual trading environment. Such testing enables market particpants to trade on the Exchange platform, get a feel of the Exchange systems and sort out any connectivity related issues, if any, which may crop up in a real life scenario. This Go-live test scenario also provides an opportunity to the Exchange to test and fine tune its own systems, where all the entities from the eco-system participated.

Thomas McMahon, CEO of SMX, said “We are very happy to announce that the Golive testing went off without a hitch and all systems and processes performed to our satisfaction. I would like to thank the participants for their over whelming support and for taking time off during their busy trading day, to punch orders and help us in testing the Exchange systems. This provides me with a lot of encouragment that the industry is eagerly awaiting the launch of the new Exchange.”

The total of 44 traders particpated in the testing which included representatives from 16 companies. A number of remote users accessed the Exchange platform from Indonesia, Japan, India and Australia, and were able to successfully place and execute orders on SMX.

The feedback received from the market participants has been very positive and encouraging. Traders are very enthused by the functionality offered by the Exchange platform for trade execution and the in-built real time risk management features of the system.

Barry White from Patsystems, one of the ISVs connected to the Exchange platform, said: “The Exchange platform provided by SMX has proven in these Go-live tests, its ability to offer users with an uncomplicated yet sophisticated solution for trading commodity derivatives. A number of our existing and potential customers who participated in the trading were very pleased with the performance of the system and Pro-Mark functionality in these tests.”

Mike Donahue, Managing Director, TransMarket Group Pte Ltd said “We are very enthusiastic about the imminent opening of SMX and are looking forward to increased access to the regional and global commodities markets during the Asian time zone.”

Over the last few months, SMX has been actively promoting its membership programmes. The Exchange has received keen interest from leading international and local insitutions based in Singapore and from market participants based in Indonesia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, Japan, Australia, India and Middle East.

“Our multi-product commodity derivatives exchange platform has successfully attracted a broad spectrum of leading international commodity players, as well as top financial and banking insitutions, traders and brokers from around the world. We are encouraged by the response from the global market players and are confident of building on this to create an attractive and vibrant pan-Asian exchange,” Mr McMahon added.

With the succesful completion of Go-live testing, SMX has moved one more step closer to its impending launch.

Source: SMX, 29.10.2009

Filed under: Asia, Energy & Environment, Exchanges, News, Singapore, , , , , , , ,

ASEAN markets cross trading links in demand – TABB Group

In new equity markets research published today, TABB Group says US and European demand for electronic linkage to Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) exchanges is strong and primed to expand, as seamless access will attract brokers already trading in other parts of Asia. However, there is a wide range of needs across the different market segment, including direct market access (DMA), low-cost versus real-time market data, advanced order types, and reliable trading platforms.

TABB’s senior analyst Kevin McPartland, who authored the ASEAN Equity Markets Pinpoint report, an industry update on equity trading in the ASEAN region covering the Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore exchanges, says the global financial crisis had little impact on growing buy-side demand for trading in ASEAN markets.

“More seamless access will drive brokers already operating in other parts of Asia to begin trading in the ASEAN markets,” he says, with the sell side set to benefit most from that seamless access. Explaining that the availability of real-time market data is crucial for all trading in the ASEAN markets, and that real time data is a requirement for the sell side even when trade volumes are low or non-existent, he adds, “High costs and time zones do tend to limit buy-side market data usage outside of the region.”

Addressing the relationship between the buy side and sell side, McPartland says that although no single broker currently dominates across all Asian markets, over 90% of buy-side firms are unwilling to give brokers full discretion over their orders. However, while the buy side does look to their brokers for market access, they agree that more seamless access would lower costs for execution and market data. There is also significant support for the idea of central ASEAN execution venue, McPartland adds.

The report’s in-depth coverage includes 24 charts:

  • Support for a central ASEAN venue
  • Improving ASEAN trading
  • Sell-side interest in ASEAN linkage
  • % of bulge-bracket participants trading in each market
  • Impact of the financial crisis on ASEAN interest
  • Roadblocks to sell-side trading in ASEAN markets
  • Buy-side broker usage – all Asia ·
  • Buy-side broker usage – ASEAN markets
  • Top brokers by country (by # of mentions)
  • Bulge-bracket participants trading in each market
  • Mid-tier participants trading in each market
  • Buy-side interest in a seamless ASEAN linkage
  • Roadblocks to buy-side access of ASEAN markets
  • Average number of buy-side orders per week
  • Average blended commission rates (bps)
  • % for which counterparty risk is an issue
  • Importance of each component when trading in ASEAN markets
  • Markets providing real-time market data to sell side
  • Market data sources for sell side
  • Markets providing real-time market data to buy side
  • Reasons for buy side’s lack of market data
  • How the buy side trades ASEAN markets
  • % of buy side using multiple data providers ·
  • Sell-side and buy-side market data providers

TABB Group collected data through interviews with heads of electronic trading from 12 top global broker-dealers, 9 hedge funds and 14 institutional asset managers. On the buy side, participants had combined global assets under management (AuM) of approximately $6 trillion and are currently trading in Asia from slightly under $10 million to over $5 billion monthly.

Source: MondoVisione, 23.10.2009

Filed under: Asia, Data Management, Exchanges, Indonesia, Malaysia, Market Data, News, Singapore, Thailand, Trading Technology, Vietnam, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,