Just as Europe continues its intention to turn its back on high-frequency trading and use of algorithms, Australia continues to welcome such activity with open arms.
Today, ACTIV Financial has opened a ticker plant at the Australian Securities Exchange, with the aim of processing and normalizing data within the nation’s prominent colocation facility, the Australian Liquidity Center (ALC).
Whilst this particular move relates to securities, it is evident that there is a willingness among companies which specialize in optimizing the speed at which trades can be executed to invest in the improvement of performance in the Antipodes.
Australia’s national financial markets regulator, ASIC, categorically declared last year that the use of dark liquidity is perfectly acceptable within its jurisdiction, and that high-frequency trading by using such methods of gaining advantages over other market participants is part of the financial landscape.
Meanwhile, the European Parliament is busily engaged in passing a series of rulings which are designed to put a lid on the practice once and for all, leading to demand from global market participants to seek alternative venues outside of the European Union with whom to conduct their business. With regions such as Russia and Australia providing access to first class liquidity as well as the Far Eastern markets, eyes are beginning to look east.
Data Processing Moved from Singapore to Australia
According to ACTIV, interest in Australian data originating from Sydney is increasing, and ACTIV’s move from processing ASX data in Singapore to processing the data directly within the ASX exchange colocation facility aims to significantly reduce latency in their consolidated and direct feeds, and improves data quality via a direct cross connect to the exchange presence.
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In addition, ACTIV clients are now positioned to upgrade to the latest generation of exchange products—including the ASX ITCH feed and ITCH 24 feed.
Interestingly, ACTIV recently launched its next generation market data platform as well as having conducted an expansion into more than 10 new Asian markets, including Bursa Malaysia, Indonesia Stock Exchange, Philippine Stock Exchange, Stock Exchange of Thailand and Thailand Futures Exchange.
“The inclusion of the ALC in ACTIV’s global backbone will serve a growing population of traders in the region looking for a faster and more cost effective solution for ASX data,” said Frank Piasecki, ACTIV Financial’s president, in a corporate statement today. “The new offering also ensures our customers outside the region have access to the highest quality of data.”
The ALC is expected by ACTIV Financial to become a major hub of the ActivNet global backbone, connecting over 20 global colocation facilities through redundant and low latency network connectivity for market data and order routing, further marking out its potential future as a feasible outlet for HFT participants which have experienced a clipping of their wings in Europe.
David Raper, General Manager of ASX Trading Services, further added: “The ALC has become the heart of Australia’s financial market and we are delighted that ACTIV Financial has extended their global platform directly into our centre. This arrangement demonstrates that there is a growing demand for lowest latency ASX data globally. The addition of ACTIV to the ALC financial community is a significant one, which provides both local and international market participants with a very high quality market data service.”
Australia a Viable HFT Destination?
There is little doubt that Asia remains a prime destination for the entire FX industry worldwide, with this being a further indicator toward the region’s progressive approach to the use of technology. Today, the iFX EXPO in Macau commenced, with the first discussion panel commencing tomorrow, in which the next new product to make it big in FX will be debated by global industry leaders.
With Australia’s close proximity to such regions in the Asia-Pacific region, including Singapore which is home to a large and stable institutional FX industry, and Indonesia which is a stone’s throw from Australia and whose MCSI volumes traded on the Singapore Exchange are up 300% YoY, combined with its stable financial markets economy and a common governmental lack of objection to HFT among the majority of the Asia-Pacific jurisdictions, the Antipodean nation stands itself in good stead.