The Race among ECN eFX Execution Venues Heats Up

Refinitiv and EBS are clinching fists for the top spot, while FXSpotStream, CBOE and Integral are racing for third

It’s been a very challenging first half of the year for foreign exchange operators, regardless of whether they are technology providers or brokers. The abysmal volatility across major pairs left the industry struggling to gain traction as eFX trading volumes dropped across the board, especially in Q1.

While retail brokers were particularly hard hit, institutional trading venues have reported increasing volumes over the past couple of months.

In this article, we are taking an in-depth look at which venue dominated execution in the first half and highlight some trends which are worth keeping track of. The first chart we are analyzing shows the market share among other publicly reporting trading venues.

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eFX ECNs
eFX ECNs market share in H1 2019

The lead of Refinitiv is undisputed as the company has two of the most popular trading platforms for electronic FX – FXall and Matching. The operator formerly owned by Thomson Reuters has been touted as a takeover target for the London Stock Exchange at a key time – just before Brexit.

With 31 percent of the eFX market, Refinitiv is well ahead of CME’s subsidiary NEX – the owner of the EBS eFX execution venue. With 27 percent of the market throughout the quarter, the aggregated data shows a distant second spot. That said, the race has been heating up in recent months as we can see on the chart below.

FX ECNs
FX ECNs Trading Volumes H1, in $bln

Vibrant Race for Third

While FXSpotStream holds 13 percent of the market, it is in a tight race for the third spot with CBOE FX and Integral. All of the three companies have been rounding up the top three over the past six months.

Recent months have been positive for FXSpotStream as the company appears to be building a lead over CBOE, which rounded up the first half just ahead of Integral. Euronext’s Fastmatch services is in a distant third, holding only six percent of the market.

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