Third time unlucky as ICE delays Singapore futures market again

HONG KONG (Bloomberg) - Intercontinental Exchange Inc. delayed the start date for its Singapore futures market a third time, another setback for the exchange operator's expansion into Asia.

ICE Futures Singapore will not offer trading in Brent crude, gold or yuan derivatives until the second half of the year, ICE spokeswoman Claire Miller said in an e-mail on Thursday. The owner of European and U.S. futures markets and the New York Stock Exchange had planned to open the Asian market by the end of June.

Miller said the delay was needed "to accommodate customer preparations."

Owning an exchange in Asia could help Atlanta-based ICE attract customers in the region. Also, traders based in Europe and the U.S. might transfer their trading there if they're seeking to avoid regulations in their home countries. Upon opening the market, ICE will be the first exchange to operate a clearinghouse in the world's three main geographies: the U.S., Europe and Asia.

When the company bought Singapore Mercantile Exchange for US$150 million in February 2014, it said a revamped version of the derivatives market would open by the end of that year. ICE subsequently postponed that until March 17 and then the end of June.

ICE has identified three futures products that will be available in Singapore from day one: oil, gold and a product tied to the Chinese currency. Originally, it had also planned to offer contracts on cotton and sugar.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.