French bank BNP Paribas is planning to join JPMorgan Chase & Co and Citigroup by setting up an electronic currency trading and pricing platform in Singapore.
The facility will support electronic trading of 50 currencies in spot, forward, swaps, non-deliverable forwards and options, according to a company statement. It will also allow trading of precious and base metals.
"In South-east Asia, we have seen our e-FX (electronic foreign exchange) trading volumes grow by double-digits year on year," Mr Christophe Jobert, head of global markets for South-east Asia at BNP, said in the statement. With the new hub, "our clients will benefit from better access to liquidity, more efficient price discovery and timelier trade execution", he said.
Singapore's currency market saw average trading volumes of US$633 billion (S$854 billion) a day last April, according to the latest data available from the Bank for International Settlements. That is higher than Hong Kong and Japan, and trails only Britain and the United States, the data showed.
The launch is in tandem with the Monetary Authority of Singapore's plan to develop Singapore as Asia-Pacific's FX trading hub.
Ms Gillian Tan, executive director, financial markets development department at MAS, noted that the engine will provide more efficient price discovery, and improved liquidity for clients in the region within Asia's trading hours.
BNP's e-trading launch comes as the bank prepares to roll out its Cortex Live single-dealer platform to Singapore clients, according to the statement.