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Reflecting on market demand: What does the expansion of CMC Markets Connect in Singapore mean for the region?

03 Mar 2023, 22:20

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In early 2021, we relaunched our institutional offering under the CMC Markets Connect brand. Over the last two years, significant steps have been taken to roll out new products, expand the dedicated Connect team across the globe and convince even more institutional clients of the unique benefits we can offer as a liquidity solutions provider.

Although to many, CMC Markets is synonymous with a retail background, over the last three decades the volume of work conducted with banks, wealth managers and brokers has been growing steadily. More customers are becoming aware of the market leading technology, high levels of client support and the advantage that can be delivered by augmenting traditional tier one liquidity with a sizable book of retail business.

2022 saw the launch of our Spot FX offering, enabling any institutional counterparty to access a comprehensive range of products from a single account. In our latest stage of growth, we have focused on harnessing CMC Markets existing technology and knowledge around physical equities – a product which has cemented our position in Australia and New Zealand, and one that we now intend to deploy across the wider APAC region.

This has included the relocation of Institutional Sales Manager, Peter Foster from our Sydney office to Singapore. Peter brings with him many years of first-hand equity market experience, with the intention being that this will help drive our multi-asset offering to an even greater number of institutional clients across the region. In this interview, Peter will discuss our multi-asset offering for institutional clients, along with his future vision for the APAC market.

We hear a lot about this demand for multi-asset access. What does that mean for the APAC region in 2023?

Peter Foster – I think it’s important to start by looking at who our institutional clients are and try to understand more about how they want to develop their businesses in the years ahead. The reality is that trading relationships can be far more efficient if you only have an individual counterparty. That means a single system integration, one due diligence process, one counterparty relationship and then the additional benefits that come with functions like cross margining and volume discounts. It therefore follows that if a counterparty can offer this on a multi-asset basis – so not just the core commodities, indices and currencies, but also encapsulate a wider range of products like ETFs, treasuries and physical equities – they will be seen as a better fit for current market demands.

Looking at the regional level, what we have seen is that the institutional market in South East Asia is growing rapidly, COVID has led to a degree of upheaval and businesses are eager to ensure they’re maximising efficiency at every stage of the journey. That means we have more institutions approaching us with ever more sophisticated requests and for many, multi asset sits at the very heart of this. It’s a situation that is being repeated globally, but the pace of change in Asia seems particularly dramatic.

“ Institutional” has many interpretations in the FX & CFD world. Can you explain a bit more about what this means to CMC Connect?

Peter Foster – Many people will think of the very biggest banks when talking about institutional counterparties, but we would say that the term is far more inclusive than that, sweeping up buyside brokers, money managers, boutique asset managers, family offices and many in the fintech community also. So any corporate entity who wants a liquidity solution or execution venue – indeed anything other than a retail customer - can work with us via the CMC Markets Connect institutional channel.

We certainly don’t work on a one size fits all approach, but much of what has driven the growth of CMC in recent years has been about continuous innovation and addressing the gaps as we identify them in the underlying market. That means the definition of what we think as being institutional business is growing all the time, too.

What about the future? Will technology continue to drive innovation here?

Peter Foster – Very much so. Technology has always been at the heart of the CMC Markets proposition and the business has an absolute understanding of the importance of leveraging this correctly. Whether that comes from taking away some of the heavy lifting in terms of automated reporting or something far more nuanced such as giving clients easy access to strategy formation tools with the ability to implement this information across multi-asset investments. We will continue to develop and invest into our technology to support market demand.

 And in terms of physical equities in the region? What does this hold?

Peter Foster – South East Asia, simply by the nature of its geography, has a fragmented equity offering compared to Europe, the US or Australia. Across the region you have a plethora of smaller exchanges each working in a local currency, yet institutions don’t want to be maintaining multiple trading relationships here. It all points back to the benefits of a brokerage being able to deliver that one stop shop solution. Whether that’s with regard to accessing commodities, currencies and government debt from a single platform, or being able to trade equities from multiple regional markets all via a single account, it’s our intention to continue expanding the tradable universe to appeal to the widest possible institutional audience.





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