Spot FX on ICAP’s leading electronic currency platform EBS reached an average daily volume of $182 billion in 2007, an increase of 28 percent (2006: $143 billion), as volatility in the currency markets and increased algorithmic trading activity continued to drive the growth of foreign exchange as an asset class.
Electronic trading of fixed income products via ICAP’s BrokerTec platform also hit record levels. Average daily volume of transactions involving U.S. Treasury products, European repos and US repos was $614 billion in 2007, a 26 percent increase year-on-year.
ICAP made significant enhancements to the EBS system in 2007 including processor upgrades and more complex streaming data feeds, resulting in faster average deal times. In 2007, ICAP also upgraded the BrokerTec matching engine hardware, developed more efficient API broadcasts for additional performance and enhanced the market data offering with more frequent distribution.
“ICAP’s platforms are best-in-class and our systems have shown that they are capable of successfully handling big spikes in volume during extreme market conditions,” said
David Rutter, Deputy CEO of ICAP Electronic Broking.
“While the record volumes in 2007 are evidence of increased volatility in the markets, they also reflect a change in the way trading is done,” said Rutter. “Electronic broking has improved the efficiency with which the market is able to execute trades through both technological advancements and lower trading costs. Our customers should expect continued platform enhancements from ICAP, which has proven to be a trusted liquidity source in this rapidly changing environment.”
Highlights from 2007 include:
• The busiest day ever on the EBS platform occurred on August 16th when volume topped $456 billion. August also accounted for the highest average daily volume for US Treasury benchmarks and August 16th was the busiest session to date.
• August, November and October were the first, second and third highest volume months in EBS history.
• Several new currencies and currency pairs were introduced to the EBS platform including the New Zealand dollar, and new pairs sterling/yen, USD/Turkish lira and Australian dollar/NZ dollar.
• Additionally, the precious metals platinum and palladium and the gold/yen pair were added to the EBS platform.
• In September, BrokerTec launched a fully electronic platform for the trading of CDX indices in the US.