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Singapore still largest forex centre in region, third in world: Survey

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Singapore has retained its position as the largest foreign exchange centre in the region and third largest globally, after Britain and the US, survey results released yesterday showed.

The results were published by the Bank for International Settlements as part of its poll on the global foreign exchange (FX) and over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives markets.

A total of 53 central banks, including the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), participated in the survey, which measured the turnover of FX and OTC derivatives markets in April this year.

The study ranked Singapore as the third largest financial centre, holding 7.6 per cent of the global share of FX trading.

The largest financial centre globally was Britain, which held 43.1 per cent, followed by the US, which held 16.5 per cent. Trailing Singapore closely, with almost the same share, was Hong Kong. Japan followed with 4.5 per cent of the global share.

These top five financial centres facilitated 79 per cent of global FX trading, the report noted.

The average daily trading volume of Singapore's foreign exchange market was US$633 billion (S$870 billion) in April, up 22 per cent from US$517 billion three years ago.

MAS said in a media release that this means Singapore's FX trading volume reached a new high. This is in line with global FX volumes, which hit US$6.6 trillion in April this year, a 30 per cent increase from April three years ago.

But Singapore's FX trading volume growth was slightly lower than its growth in 2016, when the figure went up by 35 per cent, compared with the average daily trading volume of US$383 billion in 2013.

CIMB Private Banking economist Song Seng Wun said general economic and political volatility caused raised market activity, contributing to the growth in FX trading volume globally. - THE STRAITS TIMES