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

Sao Paulo based BLK Sistemas Financeiros Accelerates Trading with Perseus LiquidPath®

-          Perseus Telecom Brazil Connects BLK Sistemas Financeiros to Brazil Exchange in less than 50 microseconds

-          BLK Sistemas Financeiros Enhances Liquidity options with Perseus Ultra-Low Latency DMA Connectivity

SAO PAULO– 15 July 2013 – Perseus Telecom, a leading provider of ultra-low latency, high capacity global networks, today announced BLK Sistemas Financeiros has connected to the BM&F Bovespa through the Perseus Telecom LiquidPath connection of sub 50 microseconds. LiquidPath launched late in 2012 by Perseus, connects the ALOG/Equinix (SP1) datacenter with the BM&F Bovespa data center (CT1) in less than 50 microseconds Round Trip Delay (RTD).

Perseus Telecom winners of the Global Telecoms Business Innovation award in 2012 for building the fastest connection between the Nasdaq OMX datacenter in New York and the BM&F Bovespa data center in Sao Paulo, has since launched its LiquidPath product, which furthers the commitment to market-to-market trading. LiquidPath assists brokers, vendors and their customers, with international communications, infrastructure support and ultra low-latency last mile connectivity to exchanges.

Rogério Paiva Managing Director at BLK Sistemas Financeiros said, “We carefully selected Perseus Telecom, who is well known in Brazil for its exchange connectivity platform, LiquidPath, which has helped ensure the best performance locally for our customers.”

BLK Sistemas Financeiros specializes in electronic & algorithmic trading with new infrastructure developed in Brazil called ‘Proximity Colocation’ for high speed electronic trading operations. BLK customers utilize sophisticated ultra low-latency straight through processing environment, based on the latest technological advancements available.

“BLK Sistemas Financeiros is a great new addition to the Perseus Telecom community connecting to our global network from Brazil, said Marcos Guimaraes, President of Perseus Telecom Brazil, “BLK can now help its customers take advantage our LiquidPath infrastructure to provide access to the BM&F Bovespa for its trading customers, but also to other exchanges in the 60 global markets Perseus serves.”

Source, Perseus, 15.07.2013

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

Perseus Clocks Sub-Nanosecond UTC Timescale in Equinix’s London Slough Campus

Sub-nanosecond FINRA Provable Timestamp; Live in the US and Europe for Global Synchronization of Trading Systems

 LONDON – 03 July 2013 – Perseus Telecom, a leading provider of ultra-low latency, high capacity networks from market-to-market, today announced its High Precision Time™ offering that provides deterministic synchronization with the US timescale UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) assisting firms balance enterprise systems and meet regulation guidelines.

Regulatory mandates and technological efficiencies continue to drive the need for more transparency in low latency high speed trading. This has pushed firms to move low latency policies deeper through the stack from the wire to the chipset, garnering the need to ingest provable time more accurately. Widespread deployment of time platforms use a combination of GPS time data and NTP (Network Time Protocol) for the delivery of time, where both are proving less reliable with high latency time synchronization despite the growth of market data and faster processing speeds across financial markets.

The Perseus time service utilizes 1 PPS (Pulse Per Second), an electrical signal Perseus uses to condition a customer server clock with the highest precision time data delivery backed by a Perseus SLA of less than one nanosecond. Other Perseus technologies such as fiber-optic and wireless connectivity with proximity colocation, all contribute to condition local grandmaster atomic clocks that feed time at electrical pulse speeds to customer trading systems and applications.

Stewart Orrell, Managing Director, Global Capital Markets at Equinix commented, “We are very pleased to have Perseus provide new critical infrastructure for certifiable time data across the Equinix ecosystem both in the US and now in Europe. Having financial firms able to reference UTC time data across existing trading ecosystems helps meet client requirements as they communicate and trade from market to market.”

The atomic clock installation at the Equinix LD4 datacenter was built to serve local and international broker dealers and the buy-sides such as High Frequency Trading firms. This new environment allows participants to interoperate their extremely fast market data, algorithmic and order execution servers in a colocated LAN environment a few feet from the Perseus atomic clocks and the markets of the Aquis Exchange, BATS-Chi-X, BOAT, ICAP EBS, Nasdaq OMX NLX, Turquoise and the London Metal Exchange (LME).

 Andrew Kusminsky, Chief Operating and Strategy Officer at Perseus said, “Rolling out High Precision Time™ in Equinix datacenters is one of our key strategies to help our financial customers performing at the lowest latency speeds in global markets. The Perseus precision time services help to mitigate risk, meet new stringent financial compliance guidelines, and ensure HFT systems are consistently accurate as they trade over our ultra low-latency networks including QuanTA, LiquidPath® and wireless/microwave.”

Source: Perseus,03.07.2013

Filed under: Trading Technology, , , , ,

Perseus Brazil Debuts Market-To-Market Liquidity Platform LiquidPath®

  • Fastest Connection to the BM&F Bovespa from Equinix/ALOG in Sao Paulo
  • Financial Compliant Network for Global Direct Market Access

Perseus Telecom, a leading provider of ultra-low latency, high capacity networks for market-to-market connectivity, today announced a fully managed ultra low latency solution offering called LiquidPath®. The service offering encompasses a complete trading network solution and infrastructure service for local and international exchange trading across global financial markets. LiquidPath® was developed to empower both the international Buy-Side with the local Sell-Side in order to take full advantage of the ever-evolving Emerging Markets landscape.

LiquidPath® connects the Perseus ultra low latency global network with key exchange data centers around the world. The service assists with procurement, staging and management of infrastructure for firms in need of support in foreign or emerging markets. Deployed at the beginning of 2013, the LiquidPath® platform connects the Perseus award winning network connection of New York’s Nasdaq OMX datacenter with the Sao Paulo Equinix/ALOG datacenter and into the site of the BM&F Bovespa exchange.

In Brazil, LiquidPath® is run by a local Perseus team of financial technology experts who purchase, install and manage equipment used for market data and trading in the Brazilian financial markets. The solution has connected Equinix/ALOG with BM&F Bovespa in less than 50 microseconds making LiquidPath® the fastest connection in market. LiquidPath® is an RCB compliant network of Brazilian exchange market data and trade execution messages.

Key Features of LiquidPath® Brazil

  • Market-To-Market: Global connectivity to 60+ financial markets.
  • Ultra Low-Latency: Fastest trans-Atlantic connection between London & Frankfurt; New York & London; New York & Sao Paulo.
  • Market Access Acceleration: Turn-up connections with exchanges, vendors and counter parties within proximity datacenters in days not months.
  • Agile Technology Support: Immediate adoption of new trading technologies as made available to stay competitive.
  • Financial Network Compliant: RCB network allowing for DMA access to local CVMs and exchange ports.

The LiquidPath® platform has seen an immediate market adoption, as many customers have connected onto the fast path between the Equinix/ALOG data center and the BM&F Bovespa data center with less than 50 microseconds RTD.

Marcos Guimaraes, President of Perseus do Brazil said, “In this new world of globalized, multi-market and multi-asset trading, the total cost of ownership for a firm has become extremely complex and competitive. Our latest offering provides simple, fast and flexible access to global exchange liquidity solving the problems our top end customers face.”

The Perseus LiquidPath® product is part of a suite of services designed to help trading firms get access to far reaching exchanges’ market data, send order execution and be in proximity with the trading community of multiple markets. Perseus stands by its testament of simplifying the process of trading connectivity, solving the problems that the complexities of international deployment involves and keeping the process efficient so that customers can mitigate risk and save money.

Source: Perseus 25.06.2013

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

Market Data Technology to Hit $3.6B in 2012

Demand for market data acceleration is driving the global investment in sell-side, market-data distribution technology in 2012 to $3.6 billion, according to a report released by the Tabb Group.

The report, Market Data Acceleration: More than Just Speed, also predicts 4.5% compound annual growth in these investments for the next three years based on expected growth in FX, Derivatives and Commodities as well as movement by Asian markets towards automation.

The largest segment of this investment, 73%, will come from Europe and North America, but according to Tabb Group, there’s considerable growth potential from the Asian markets.

Moreover, while the equities markets are matured from a growth perspective, driving 45% of the global spend, a strong percentage of growth will come from over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives, FX and commodities.

According to the report, market data is an area where performance can play a crucial role for a host of trading activities. Obtaining, decoding and utilizing market data in a timely and efficient manner are no longer the purview of the ultra-low-latency firms; everyone involved needs to be able to get at market data in as timely a fashion as possible.

“This is not to say that everyone needs to be at the ‘tip of the spear’; however, it does mean that anyone who is actively involved in trading needs to be moving in that direction,” said the report.

However, according to the research firm, firms are struggling with conflicting pressures of the “need for speed” in comparison to the “need to save,” as they try reconcile price with performance.

“Market participants need to ensure that their investment in speed gets them more than just a solitary solution for a single platform,” said Tabb partner and report writer Alexander Tabb in a statement.

Different firms, according to Tabb, have different strategies, thus different needs. Whether a firm is a high frequency trader, an institutional market maker, or an algo-trading desk, the challenge is placing speed into its proper context within the accelerated market data equation.

“Due to the democratization of speed, it’s essential for every buyer to remember to factor in total cost of ownership, price versus performance, operational flexibility, control, scalability and time-to-market,” says the report.

Source: Securities Technology Monitor. 23.04.2012

Filed under: Data Management, Data Vendor, Market Data, , , , , , , , , , ,

Securities and Exchange Board of India issues Algo trading guidelines

It has been observed that adoption of technology for the purpose of trading in financial instruments has been on a rise over the past few years. Stockbrokers as well as their clients are now making increased usage of trading algorithm (hereinafter referred to as “algo”).
1. Based on recommendations of Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) and Secondary Market Advisory Committee (SMAC), it has been decided to put in place the following broad guidelines for algorithmic trading in the securities market.


2. Algorithmic Trading – Any order that is generated using automated execution logic shall be known as algorithmic trading.

Guidelines to the stock exchanges and the stockbrokers

3. Stock exchanges shall ensure the following while permitting algorithmic trading:

(i) The stock exchange shall have arrangements, procedures and system capability to manage the load on their systems in such a manner so as to achieve consistent response time to all stockbrokers. The stock exchange shall continuously study the performance of its systems and, if necessary, undertake system upgradation, including periodic upgradation of its surveillance system, in order to keep pace with the speed of trade and volume of data that may arise through algorithmic trading.

(ii) In order to ensure maintenance of orderly trading in the market, stock exchange shall put in place effective economic disincentives with regard to high daily order-to-trade ratio of algo orders of the stock broker. Further, the stock exchange shall put in place monitoring systems to identify and initiate measures to impede any possible instances of order flooding by algos.

(iii) The stock exchange shall ensure that all algorithmic orders are necessarily routed through broker servers located in India and the stock exchange has appropriate risk controls mechanism to address the risk emanating from algorithmic orders and trades. The minimum order-level risk controls shall include the following:

a. Price check – The price quoted by the order shall not violate the price bands defined by the exchange for the security. For securities that do not have price bands, dummy filters shall be brought into effective use to serve as an early warning system to detect sudden surgstem to detect sudden surge in prices.

b. Quantity Limit check – The quantity quoted in the order shall not violate the maximum permissible quantity per order as defined by the exchange for the security.

(iv) In the interest of orderly trading and market integrity, the stock exchange shall put in place a system to identify dysfunctional algos (i.e. algos leading to loop or runaway situation) and take suitable measures, including advising the member, to shut down such algos and remove any outstanding orders in the system that have emanated from such dysfunctional algos. Further, in exigency, the stock exchange should be in a position to shut down the broker’s terminal.

(v) Terminals of the stockbroker that are disabled upon exhaustion of collaterals shall be enabled manually by the stock exchange in accordance with its risk management procedures.

(vi) The stock exchange may seek details of trading strategies used by the algo for such purposes viz. inquiry, surveillance, investigation, etc.

(vii) The stock exchange shall include a report on algorithmic trading on the stock exchange in the Monthly Development Report (MDR) submitted to SEBI inter alia incorporating turnover details of algorithmic trading, algorithmic trading as percentage of total trading, number of stock brokers/clients using algorithmic trading, action taken in respect of dysfunctional algos, status of grievances, if any, received and processed, etc.

(viii) The stock exchange shall synchronize its system clock with the atomic clock before the start of market such that its clock has precision of at least one micro-second and accuracy of at least +/- one milli-second.

4. Stock exchange shall ensure that the stockbroker shall provide the facility of algorithmic trading only upon the prior permission of the stock exchange. Stock exchange shall subject the systems of the stock broker to initial conformance tests to ensure that the checks mentioned below are in place and that the stockbroker’s system facilitate orderly trading and integrity of the securities market. Further, the stock exchange shall suitably schedule such conformance tests and thereafter, convey the outcome of the test to the stockbroker.

For stockbrokers already providing algo trading, the stock exchange shall ensure that the risk controls specified in this circular are implemented by the stockbroker.

Additionally, the annual system audit report for a stockbroker, as submitted to the stock exchange, shall include a specific report ensuring that the checks are in place. Such system audit shall be conducted by Certified Information System Auditors (CISA) empanelled by stock exchanges. Further, the stock exchange shall subject the stockbroker systems to more frequent system audits, if required.

5. The stockbroker, desirous of placing orders generated using algos, shall satisfy the stock exchange with regard to the implementation of the following minimum levels of risk controls at its end -

(i) Price check – Algo orders shall not be released in breach of the price bands defined by the exchange for the security.

(ii) Quantity check – Algo orders shall not be released in breach of the quantity limit as defined by the exchange for the security.

(iii) Order Value check – Algo orders shall not be released in breach of the ‘value per order’ as defined by the stock exchanges.

(iv) Cumulative Open Order Value check – The individual client level cumulative open order value check, may be prescribed by the broker for the clients. Cumulative Open Order Value for a client is the total value of its unexecuted orders released from the stockbroker system.

(v) Automated Execution check – An algo shall account for all executed, unexecuted and unconfirmed orders, placed by it before releasing further order(s). Further, the algo system shall have pre-defined parameters for an automatic stoppage in the event of algo execution leading to a loop or a runaway situation.

(vi) All algorithmic orders are tagged with a unique identifier provided by the stock exchange in order to establish audit trail.

6. The other risk management checks already put in place by the exchange shall continue and the exchange may re-evaluate such checks if deemed necessary in view of algo trading.

7. The stockbroker, desirous of placing orders generated using algos, shall submit to the respective stock exchange an undertaking that -

(i) The stockbroker has proper procedures, systems and technical capability to carry out trading through the use of algorithms.

(ii) The stockbroker has procedures and arrangements to safeguard algorithms from misuse or unauthorized access.

(iii) The stockbroker has real time monitoring systems to identify algorithms that may not behave as expected. Stockbroker shall keep stock exchange informed of such incidents immediately.

(iv) The stockbroker shall maintain logs of all trading activities to facilitate audit trail. The stock broker shall maintain record of control parameters, orders, trades and data points emanating from trades executed through algorithm trading.

(v) The stockbroker shall inform the stock exchange on any modification or change to the approved algos or systems used for algos.

8. The stock exchange, if required, shall seek conformance of such modified algo or systems to the requirements specified in the circular.

9. Stock exchanges are directed to:

(i) take necessary steps and put in place necessary systems for implementation of the above within a period of one month from the date of this circular.

(ii) make necessary amendments to the relevant bye-laws, rules and regulations for the implementation of the above decision.

(iii) bring the provisions of this circular to the notice of the stockbrokers of the stock exchange and also to disseminate the same on the website.

(iv) For stockbrokers that are currently executing orders through algos, a period of three months is provided to the stock exchanges within which the approval process shall be completed and minimum risk controls shall be established, if not already done.

(v) communicate to SEBI, the status of implementation of the provisions of this circular in the Monthly Development Report.

10. This circular is being issued in exercise of powers conferred under Section 11(1) of the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992 to protect the interests of investors in securities and to promote the development of, and to regulate the securities market.

Filed under: India, Risk Management, , , , , , ,

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 For an executive summary or to purchase the report, visit or write to

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, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fidessa on Latam Trading – Opportunities and Challenges

Electronic trading in Latin America continues to be a hot subject, with action moving beyond Brazil to other countries. Low-Latency.comspoke to Fidessa’s head of business development for the region, Alice Botis, to get an update, and a handle on low-latency initiatives in the marketplace.

Q: Can you start by some scene setting – where is the electronic trading action in the Latam market?

A: Electronic trading is already well established in ;Brazil, Mexico and Chile, and with the introduction of MILA, both Colombia and Peru have also adopted FIX order routing. Colombia has not yet opened their market to allow FIX connectivity to third-party network providers, but they are looking forward to making that available in 2012-2013.

In Peru, the decision to make FIX connectivity available to third-party network providers is still pending regulatory approval, but if approved, they expect implementation to move swiftly.

Buy-sides in Latin America have been slow to adopt electronic order routing, but where they have, they often still pick up the phone to have a conversation with the trader for local colour. But, by having electronic connectivity, the sell-side is able to enter the order into their OMS and send unsolicited notices of execution back to the client which minimises manual errors.

The move toward the adoption of electronic order routing in Latin America is significantly driven by the desire to attract international order flow and to make trading in Latin America as seamless as trading in other mature markets.

Q: Where does Fidessa have operations, and connectivity? What’s the latest news on that front?

A: Fidessa recently opened an office in Sao Paulo to serve our clients in Latin America, including Mexico. The office was opened to provide on-the-ground technical and production support to our local clients. Our plan is to continue building out the appropriate infrastructure to offer data centre hosting, hosted services such as a local ticker plant and a local network hub to facilitate North, South and local order routing and execution. We will also be hiring local staff to ensure support in both Spanish and Portuguese.

We currently have 21 receiving brokers in Latin America concentrated in Brazil, Mexico, Chile and Colombia, and we are in discussions with several others in the region to join the Fidessa network.

Q: What are the infrastructure challenges of working in Latam?

A: The greatest infrastructure challenges are being seen by international players looking to gain access to the local markets. There are many challenges, such as hardware and telecom acquisition, so they seek the expertise of local brokers, custodians and technology vendors to help them put the appropriate infrastructure in place to start trading.

It is important to understand the workflow the client is looking to facilitate to assure a balance of cost and speed. As demand in the region continues to increase, things will only get easier, and we can hope, with scale, less expensive.

Q: Focusing on Brazil, it looks like competition is heating up there with Bats and Direct Edge planning to take on BM&FBOVESPA. What opportunities does this open up for Fidessa?

A: With the introduction of fragmentation comes the increased responsibility for brokers to provide best execution to their clients. In some markets, the exchanges themselves will be mandated to provide aggregated quote data and routing to the best price, but even in these markets, brokers will compete for business by aggregating the data feeds and connecting directly to each market themselves to more quickly identify and access best price and volume.

Whether you are an international player who has experienced fragmentation in other markets or a local player who has never had to overcome this challenge before, there will be a significant investment in time and money to accommodate the data feed, connectivity and smart order routing requirements. Working with experienced vendors in other markets like Fidessa, who has worked with Bats and Direct Edge, can provide a time to market and cost advantage to implementing the required technology and infrastructure.

Q: Are Latam markets looking to invest in low-latency technologies and offerings in a similar way that markets in North America and Europe have? Is this ‘me too’ or are they learning from others’ experience and doing things differently?

A: Brazil, Mexico and Chile have all made significant investments in their exchange technology to provide lower latency, higher throughput execution for their participants, setting the stage for algorithmic and HFT participation in their market. Brazil is leveraging the experience and expertise of the CME by partnering with them for the implementation of their new multi asset trading engine. Chile has extended their proprietary technology along with partnerships with technology providers like IBM for their low-latency messaging, and Mexico ;is enhancing their proprietary technology to provide significant improvements to latency and throughput.

Brazil has seen the highest rate of clients seeking to set up local infrastructure to facilitate low-latency market access for algorithmic and HFT participation. But, there is a delicate balance that firms are trying to find between investment in low-latency technology and return on investment on that technology purchase. That said, the amount of high frequency trading participation in the region as a whole is still growing, so as volume continues to increase, so might the returns on those technology investments.

Q: What about regulatory oversight for all of these developments? Is there a MiFID in the works for Latam?

A: There is not currently a regional regulation such as MiFID or Regulation NMS for best execution in place because Latin America is not yet fragmented. However, each country does have its own regulatory rules in place to oversee the various different types of order flow and assure quality execution for retail transactions.

In Chile, for example, there are three exchanges that are not electronically linked. The brokers are not obligated to provide best price. As long as they demonstrate they are trading on the primary exchange, and provide the best price along with the executed price on the confirmation, they are in compliance with the local rules.

As fragmentation is undoubtedly coming to LatAm, I do believe you will see local regulators augment their current rules to protect their market participants.

Q: What do you expect to be some other specific developments in the coming year in Latam, for the markets and for Fidessa?

A: As far as market changes that might affect the region, the potential addition of Mexico to the Integrated Latin American Market (MILA) will certainly affect the development of the region. Mexico has already signed a letter of intent to join MILA, and if they do, it will further drive connectivity in the region and the need for trading systems to manage higher volumes and provide multi-regional orders and execution capabilities.

The region is very dynamic with growth, change and investment, and we are excited to be working with partners in the region who are driving the extension of our trading services to accommodate their growth and success.

Source: Low Latenency, 08.02.2012

Filed under: BM&FBOVESPA, BMV - Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, FIX Connectivity, Latin America, Mexico, Peru, Trading Technology, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

NYSE Technologies opens Tokyo liquidity centre

Nyse Technologies, the commercial technology division of Nyse Euronext, today announced the opening of its latest Liquidity Center installation located in Tokyo, Japan.

With growth in Asian markets outpacing many others in the world, the NYSE Technologies Tokyo Liquidity Center offers customers the ability to access these markets with unparalleled speed and reliability with minimal infrastructure costs and a dramatically decreased time to market of only a few weeks to begin trading.

As a result of several recently deployed trading platforms and enhanced data feeds, Tokyo markets have experienced increased trading activity and a consolidation of liquidity from a robust community of traders and vendors, many of which are already members of the Metabit network acquired by NYSE Technologies in September 2011. Through the Liquidity Center’s low-cost, high performance product suite, customers can access key Asian markets, market information and other essential electronic trading infrastructure services utilizing NYSE Technologies’ SFTI network and other familiar infrastructure services, including the Capital Markets Community Platform. The Tokyo Liquidity Center joins existing facilities in the U.S. and London with additional centers launching in Toronto and Brazil in the coming months.

“In working with our customers to identify their primary trading needs and opportunities, we found that Tokyo and the surrounding Asian markets were a very high priority,” said Stanley Young, CEO, NYSE Technologies. “Our Tokyo Liquidity Center addresses those needs with a powerful blend of proven, familiar NYSE Technologies services with seamless connections to all major Tokyo markets. With little to no hardware investment or complicated maintenance, we can have customers connected in just a few weeks as compared to the challenging expense and arduous process of designing, building and maintaining a similar infrastructure themselves.”

The NYSE Technologies Tokyo Liquidity Center was built to facilitate seamless access to key markets and market information in Asia, including the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s new Tdex+ system and arrowne arrownetTM network. Offering a fully managed, broker neutral trading infrastructure solution that utilizes the technology expertise and customer network recently acquired in the Metabit transaction, the liquidity centers also feature many of the same components customers already use to access NYSE Euronext’s global exchanges. Each installation will feature a turn-key portfolio of trading products that include full-featured connectivity, market data, order transmission and risk management services with world-class customer support.

About the Liquidity Center Network
The NYSE Technologies Liquidity Center Network was created to provide a base set of trading, data and connectivity applications that enable traders to quickly and easily enter key global markets that may have been prohibitively difficult or expensive to access in the past. Customers will benefit from reliable, cost effective low-latency solutions for trading and market data services. Strategically located around the world, these facilities will offer many of NYSE Technologies core services, including Metabit MLH which provides low latency, risk-managed access to markets; SuperFeed™, an industrial strength, high-performance market data ticker plant and distribution system; and Marketplace™, one of the largest and most diverse FIX-based trading communities with more than 1,200 market participants.

Source, Finextra, 15.12.2011

Filed under: FIX Connectivity, Japan, 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, , , , , , , , ,

Mexico´s Exchanges take huge steps to boost High-Speed Trading.

The Mexican Exchange, which is the second largest exchange in Latin America, announced a number of strategic and technology initiatives designed to promote foreign investment in the Mexican financial markets and its position as a Latin American leader in high-frequency trading.

While Brazil continues to be the hottest emerging market in Latin America, the Mexican Exchange (BMV Group), is taking huge steps to boost its growth in the high-speed marketplace.

The Mexican Exchange, which is the second largest exchange in Latin America, announced a number of strategic and technology initiatives designed to promote foreign investment in the Mexican financial markets and its position as a Latin American leader in high-frequency trading.

Mexico now provides worldwide participants with seamless, high-speed and efficient access through low touch direct market access (DMA), high speed co-location services, and FIX standard protocol for order routing and market data Part of Mexico’s success is down to its determination to improve its operative rules to better comply with international market standards, as well as adopting new technology.

In 2012, the Mexican Exchange will announce the launch of a new trading engine, internally developed. This multi-market, multi-asset, flexible and scalable trading engine has throughput of more than 200,000 messages per second. The trading engine will be ultra low latency, executing trades in 100 microseconds roundtrip (improvement over 25 milliseconds on legacy trading system). Full deployment is planned for Q2 2012. Further in 2012, The Mexican Exchange will introduce several new initiatives including midpoint hidden order book trading, aimed at institutional investors looking to trade large blocks anonymously with reduced execution risk. Simpler cross order rules will also be implemented; all stocks, global market equity securities and debt instruments will be crossed within the best bid/ask spread with no intervention. And, VWAP executions for the day will be able to be entered from 8:00 AM CT to 2:40 PM CT.

Recently, the Mexican Exchange has established major alliances broadening investment opportunities in the Mexican market. The Mexican Derivatives Exchange (MexDer) and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) established phase one, “south-to-north,” of its strategic order routing agreement, giving Mexican investors access to CME Group’s benchmark derivatives contracts, including interest rates, foreign currencies, equity indexes, energy, metals and agricultural commodities.

Phase two of the partnership, “north-to-south,” now in place provides CME Group customers with access to MexDer benchmark products, including Mexican Stock Exchange Index futures, bond futures and MXN Peso / US dollar futures contracts.

Source: Wallstreet&Technology, Melanie Rodier, 18.11.2011

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

Mexican Exchange Readies New Trading Platform, Forms New Relationships

Sell-Side Technology | 18 Nov 2011 | 20:07

Mexican exchange operator Bolsa Mexicana de Valores (BMV) plans to launch a new, as yet unnamed matching engine, which will deliver 100-microsecond message latency compared to the 25-millisecond latency of its current equities platform, and will offer the same performance as Singapore Exchange’s (SGX’s) platform. The engine will also support more than 200,000 messages per second, up from the 9,000 messages per second of its legacy trading system.

 BMV CEO Luis Téllez Kuenzler and other exchange officials spoke about these upgrades and the state of the Mexican economy at the second annual Connect & Trade Mexico event this week in New York.

Téllez Kuenzler says the improvements should attract attention from the high-frequency trading (HFT) community, which already makes up 20 percent of trading volume in the country even though HFT in Mexico began only two-and-a-half years ago.

“By successfully improving upon our operative rules to better comply with international market standards, BMV is now better equipped to provide global investors with more efficient trading and connectivity to Mexico,” Téllez Kuenzler adds.

Other functionalities will go live in January, says Jorge Alegria, senior vice president of BMV and CEO of the Mercado Mexicano de Derivados (MexDer) derivatives exchange, which is a BMV affiliate. One of these functionalities is a non-displayed midpoint order book for institutional investors looking to trade large blocks anonymously with reduced execution risk. Old rules regarding crossing trades will also be replaced; all stocks, global market equity securities and debt instruments will be crossed within the best bid/ask spread with no intervention, according to Alegria.

In August, MexDer and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) established a south-to-north order-routing agreement, which was followed by a north-to-south agreement. It gives Mexican investors access to CME Group’s benchmark derivatives contracts, including interest rates, foreign currencies, equity indexes, energy, metals and agricultural commodities. And it gives CME customers access to MexDer benchmark products, including Mexican Stock Exchange Index futures, bond futures and peso/dollar futures contracts.

The Mexican exchanges are also considering an invitation from the Mercado Integrado Latinoamericano (MILA)—a trading network among the exchanges of Chile, Peru, and Colombia—to join its network. In the meantime, BMV has signed an order-routing agreement with Chile and is working on another with Brazil’s BM&FBovespa exchange.

“The flow between Mexico and Brazil can be huge,” says Téllez Kuenzler.

Source: WatersTechnologis, 18.11.2011

Filed under: BMV - Mexico, Exchanges, Mexico, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Finamex launches Algorithms with US Equities in the Mexican market

Finamex, a full-service independent broker dealer from Mexico City, and leading provider of innovative trading solutions, has released four opportunistic market trending algorithms for use by Direct Market Access (DMA) clients. The main idea is to allow clients to effectively gain arbitrage profits while mitigating collocation and/or their own strategy development costs.

Finamex’s latest release of arbitrage algorithms have been designed to build opportunities on fungible domestic equities displayed in the Mexican exchange marketplace. Execution calculations work through pre-programmed algorithms built on leveraging theoretical quote pricing as the primary driver of behavior, speed and momentum.

There are a variety of features to how the Finamex arbitrage algorithms provide opportunities with US equities in the Mexican market:

1. Hunter – is an algo which seeks to take advantage of sudden inefficiencies between the equities of foreign listed symbols in Mexico versus their originating market (such as the QQQ or AAPL on the Nasdaq or NYSE markets). The Hunter algorithm computes required data-sets and adjusts itself independently within defined price spreads on the Mexican Stock Exchange (Bolsa Mexicana de Valores: BMV).

2. Ghost – has a characteristic of lying dormant until a desired buy/sell signal appears with a non-previously indicated ask/bid price then it executes contrarily. Similarly with the Finamex “Hunter” algo, Ghost receives the side, quantity and spread parameters of opposing bids/offers satisfying spread parameters of its local market yet quickly hitting IOC type status. This feature helps in the recognition of desired price opportunities without revealing trade strategy intentions by its clients.

3. Scaled – uses a two-spread metric like the Hunter algo, with a signal that triggers in a suddenly inefficient environment. The Scaled algo strategy is seen on a big spread definition, called a “base.” Scaled reacts instantaneously when a lower spread, called the “target”, is satisfied on the other side. Unlike the Finamex “Ghost” algo, the Scaled algo’s intentions are exposed but move immediately when the target spread is satisfied. The Scaled strategy allows other market participants to preview this algo’s activity, causing them to sometimes take a glance on the board, which in turn drive executions over the spreads.

4. Market-maker – a next generation algo intended to provide liquidity and act as a market maker within the local Mexican marketplace. Market-maker absorbs the last trade, adds an indicated spread and automatically places or replaces the order with an indicated quantity. In combination with pegging and short-sell models, the Marketmaker algo is highly beneficial for market making strategies and for acting on market divergences.

“We’re putting in place all of these free strategies for clients who want to access the Mexican stock market with an almost-zero setup price. Our goal is to take Mexico to a higher level in the emerging markets priority list of global investors,” states Hector Casavantes, head of Electronic Trading at Finamex. “We wanted to offer automated algo strategies in order to let investors know how active and easy this market can be to trade. All algorithms were architected with profitability in mind. They’re highly customizable, completely auditable and comprehensive, fully meeting our clients’ demands”.

“With the addition of these tools, we’ve further enhanced our suite of algorithmic-trading products beyond our well-known execution algos in VWAPs, TWAPs, Implementation Shortfall and POV, “Roberto Larenas, Head of Equity Markets at Finamex added. “While we are aware that these algos are more opportunistic, we are still keeping our business model as pure-agency. Buy-side firms are increasingly requesting new tools, new ideas, and new ways to exploit opportunities in emerging markets. Finamex is fully committed in addressing these demands with our best-of-the breed solutions

Source: A-Team, 14.11.2011

Filed under: BMV - Mexico, FIX Connectivity, Latin America, Mexico, 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, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


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