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Barclays to launch new FX trading and pricing engine in Singapore

Barclays BARX.jpg
Barclays on Wednesday announced that it will be launching its new foreign exchange (FX) trading and pricing engine in Singapore.

BARCLAYS on Wednesday announced that it will be launching its new foreign exchange (FX) trading and pricing engine in Singapore as part of the London-headquartered bank's push to strengthen its FX presence in the Asia-Pacific.

This comes as the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) seeks to develop the Republic to become the top FX trading centre in the Asia-Pacific.

Scheduled to be launched in mid-2021, the new FX trading and pricing engine will be Barclays' fourth electronic FX trading hub globally, adding to its existing platforms in New York, London and Tokyo.

The bank will be building out of a local instance of global FX trading system, which includes the roll-out of a technology which will combine pricing algorithms with ultra-low latency co-location connectivity, said Barclays in a statement.

With the infrastructure based in Singapore, local and regional market participants will be able to benefit from increased price discovery, lower latency and improved quality of execution, it added.

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This means that the technology for one-month non-deliverable forwards (NDFs) will be able to provide more accurate prices at faster speeds and improved quality of execution.

James Hassett, co-head of global emerging markets & G10 linear FX, and head of flow macro trading, Asia, who relocated to Singapore from London in August 2020, said: "The deployment demonstrates our increased commitment to our clients in Singapore and in the region. FX is an important growth area for the firm globally and critically this takes us from a three-hub model to a four-hub model."

He was referring to the addition of Singapore to its existing hubs.

Gillian Tan, executive director, financial markets development, at MAS, said: "Singapore is well-placed to serve the strong institutional FX flows in Asia, and we are heartened to see continued strong interest from top FX players to set up their regional pricing and matching engines in Singapore."

Barclays' move follows several other global banks to have made plans to launch FX trading and pricing engines in Singapore. They include JPMorgan Chase & Co, BNP Paribas, Citigroup, UBS and Standard Chartered.

In a 2019 survey on FX trading conducted by the Bank for international Settlements, Singapore was placed as the third-largest FX trading centre in the world. Its average daily FX trading volume was up 22 per cent from 2016 to US$633 billion in April 2019; the US$633 billion represented 7.6 per cent of global FX turnover. London topped the list, followed by the US. (see amendment note)

Amendment note: In an earlier story, it was stated that Hong Kong was the second largest FX trading centre globally. It was the fourth. 

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