Fimat Group has become the first broker outside the US to obtain remote access electronically to all the major equity option markets in the USA.
Option exchanges CBOE, ISE, Pacific, Philadelphia and Amex will all be accessible using the independent order routing system CBOEdirect HyTS Terminal, provided by Belzberg Technologies, Inc. The system shows national best bids and offers on equity options quoted on all five exchanges and automatically routes trades to the best bid/offer where an option is quoted on more than one exchange.
Fimat UK will access these exchanges from screens in its London office. Simon Mead, Head of Equity Products Fimat UK, said: "This will strengthen Fimat's capabilities by enabling its European clients fast, transparent and competitive access to these important markets against the existing electronic markets within Europe. It will also help the brokers in London and New York to facilitate client demand for efficient US/European equity option arbitrage, where quick and accurate entry and exit prices are vital."
Major US exchanges are increasingly adopting online trading. CBOE has attracted substantial new volume to its Hybrid Trading System, while ISE has grown into a large and successful online-only exchange since its launch in 2000. The Fimat Group has actively participated in the evolution of electronic trading since its inception in Europe and is confident that this platform will further improve the accessibility of these markets to its clients. This service will not be available through Fimat UK for US-based clients.
Nicolas Breteau, CEO of Fimat UK, said: "Fimat USA has really penetrated these markets in the US and has built a substantial market position in single stock options in less than two years. The electronic access terminals based in the UK will now enhance the Group's ability to deliver both substantially enhanced volume and execution capabilities to its European client base, whilst complementing the existing business in New York."
In the January-October 2003 period, the five US option exchanges traded in excess of 640 million option contracts, primarily single stock options, although CBOE also commands substantial trading in stock index options.
copyright hedgeweek 2004