UBS to Start Currency Pricing, Trading Engine in Singapore

(Bloomberg) -- UBS Group AG will introduce a new electronic currency pricing and trading engine in Singapore next year in a bid to boost liquidity in Asia’s largest foreign-exchange center.

The facility will go live in the second quarter of 2019, Zurich-based UBS said Monday in an emailed statement. The bank is undertaking the initiative in partnership with the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the nation’s financial regulator.

“The engine will provide our clients with greater liquidity and increased efficiency in the foreign-exchange markets,” Anthony Hall, UBS’s head of foreign exchange, rates and credit in the Asia-Pacific region, said in the statement.

UBS’s launch may bolster the foreign-exchange trading infrastructure in Singapore, which faces competition from Hong Kong and Tokyo to be the top Asian hub for the asset class. The Swiss bank climbed up one notch to become the world’s second-largest currency trading firm by market share this year, according to a Euromoney Institutional Investor Plc survey.

“The long-term shift of foreign-exchange trading to Singapore from Tokyo is likely to continue as the Asian economies and markets continue to grow,’’ said Koji Fukaya, chief executive officer at FPG Securities Co. in Tokyo.

The average daily trading volume of Singapore’s foreign-exchange market was $517 billion in April 2016, up 35 percent from 2013, according to a 2016 triennial central bank survey by the Bank for International Settlements. That was higher than Hong Kong and Japan but lower than the U.K.’s $2.4 trillion and the U.S.’s $1.3 trillion, the BIS figures show.

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