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SEF Tracker

Published in Automated Trader Magazine Issue 37 Summer 2015

The FIA has been tracking monthly SEF volumes for over a year now. Automated Trader speaks to Will Acworth, senior vice president, about what story the figures are telling.

Will Acworth, Senior Vice President, Futures Industry Association

Will Acworth, Senior Vice President, Futures Industry Association

AT: Is there a narrative coming out of the figures?

WA: We are looking at data across three asset classes (IRS, CDS and FX) and each asset class is following its own trend. For example, if you look at the credit sector, 90% of the trading is in products that must be traded on a SEF.

On the other hand there is no mandate for FX so therefore every single trade in the FX category that is being done on a SEF is voluntary.

AT: What about growth in volumes?

WA: What we've seen over the last year is that the level of trading has bounced along at more or less the same level. The general trend is heading

upward, but not by that much. March may have been a turning point, however. For the first time since we've been tracking this data, the volume of trading in that month was higher than the previous peak in January 2014, which was the last month before the mandatory SEF trading rules started taking effect.

Part of that was due to the semi-annual update to the CDS index products, which tends to lead to higher volumes as people roll from one index to another. But rates and FX trading also picked up, so the increase in trading may reflect a longer term trend.

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