ICAP (IAP.L), the world’s premier interdealer broker, announced that it has completed the most recent phase of enhancements to its market leading EBS Spot FX electronic trading platform. These enhancements significantly improve functionality, increase the frequency of market view updates and speed of data delivery, and provide greater order book transparency for all EBS customers. The first step in the upgrade of the EBS platform involved a network and hardware upgrade to Linux which has contributed to a 75 percent improvement in global average deal times since January 2007. Intra-regional deals, for example London-London or New York-New York, are on average now completed in 5-8 milliseconds.
“As the world’s leading provider of electronic FX broking solutions, we have a responsibility to our customers to stay ahead of the market in terms of technological innovation, reliability and speed,” said David Rutter, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of ICAP Electronic Broking. “We have worked hard to make the EBS platform more efficient, reliable and deterministic. We want traders to be confident that they will get their business done at all times, in all market conditions”.
ICAP has recently reduced the price distribution interval (time slicing) on the EBS platform by 50 percent to 500 milliseconds for all EBS customers. Customers of EBS Live, the premium EBS FX market data feed, have also seen price update frequency increased to once every 250 milliseconds, up from once every 500 milliseconds. Latency on EBS Live data transmission has been reduced from 95 milliseconds to 5 milliseconds since Q1 2007.
Recent improvements to EBS technology have also resulted in an increase in price and volume transparency due in large part to the addition of a depth-of-book market view for customers. The depthof- book market view provides traders with more visibility into the inventory available in the EBS order book, and is aimed at increasing liquidity and encouraging larger orders to be placed on the platform. “Thanks to proactive enhancements made in 2007, the EBS platform continued to deliver as global FX markets experienced unprecedented levels of volatility. In anticipation of continued growth and increased adoption of electronic FX trading in 2008, ICAP is determined to introduce more enhancements designed to help today’s trader adapt to the constantly evolving FX marketplace,” Rutter added.
In 2008 ICAP will also allow select third-party independent software vendors (ISVs) to write to the EBS platform directly for the first time. This will offer traders increased choice as to how they interact with the EBS platform.