Stock exchanges get SMARTS

8 March 2005

Japanese insider traders have nowhere to hide their stock manipulations following the installation of Australian technology to sniff them out at the Tokyo Commodities Exchange.

The installation brings to 14 the stock exchanges around the world using the SMARTS system for futures, commodities and options trading activities.

SMARTS (Securities Markets Automated Trading and Surveillance) is a real-time monitoring system that highlights unusual trading activity. It is a product of the federal Capital Markets co-operative research centre, which brings academia and industry together.

Capital Markets chief executive Mike Aitken says his company is the leading provider of real-time market surveillance.

"No other party has their systems in more than two exchanges - we have our systems in 14 exchanges and five regulators in 14 countries," Mr Aitken says of its users, which include exchanges and regulators in Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, New Zealand, Russia and most of Scandinavia.

tHe says Capital Markets is also working with the Securities and Exchange Board of India implementing systems.

At home, the company's success is low-key; the Australian Stock Exchange went live with Capital Markets late last year.

SMARTS monitors every trade in real time and allows trading activity to be re-created.

"We can replay the SEATS, the Stock Exchange Automatic Trading System, screen for any stock for any nanosecond back to 1987," Mr Aitken says.

The Capital Markets centre has developed Scamseek, which analyses text such as stock chat-room entries, to correlate with market movements to see if anyone is talking-up stocks. Another tool, Compliance Explorer, is used by 17 Australian brokers to help compliance officers detect rogue trading activity.

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