African FX Infrastructure Continues to Modernize, Reuters Adds 3 Benchmarks

Thomson Reuters has won a competitive bidding process to provide currency benchmark rates on its Eikon FX trading platform for

EikonThomson Reuters announced today that it has won a competitive bidding process to provide currency benchmarks for three markets to which the financial news and data providers refer to as Africa’s most vibrant and dynamic economies – Kenya, Ghana and Zambia. The three currencies can now be found on its flagship desktop trading and information platform, Thomson Reuters Eikon.

Starting this week, Thomson Reuters Benchmark Services Ltd will operate currency benchmarks for the Kenyan shilling, Ghanaian cedi and Zambian kwacha, beginning a process which will see the benchmarks move from a manual telephone-based system to a modern automated analysis, bringing them in line with the way rates are processed in the leading financial centers of the world. The Trade Association for the Emerging Markets, EMTA organization and its African Currency FX Working Group have selected Thomson Reuters to provide support to market these three benchmarks.

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“These three global-standard benchmarks are integral to the development of three of Africa’s most exciting economies,” said Sneha Shah, Head of Financial & Risk, Africa, Thomson Reuters. “Kenya is the major trading hub for east Africa, Ghana is growing in the west and Zambia is a country to watch in the south with exciting developments in its commodities and derivatives markets. Of the key benchmarks globally for which we are the official calculator, 22 are on the African continent. Now there are 25, contributing to the seamless and efficient flow of currencies among the African countries and their global trading partners.”

There now follows a three stage transition process to reduce the reliance on manual reporting, according to Thomson Reuters. The first stage is the transition to Thomson Reuters’ service, with no immediate alteration to the current manual, quote driven method in which calculators gather quotes from market participants. The second stage begins in August, with automated collection of data from the ten most active contributors to the rates and semi-automated submissions from others. Thomson Reuters will then launch an open consultation on the possible use of transaction data in a subsequent phase.

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