Liquidnet Says Trading Growth Fastest in Southeast Asia
Liquidnet Holdings Inc. said Southeast Asia posted the fastest growth in turnover of any region this year after the operator of off-exchange trading platforms expanded into Thai and Philippine equities.
Average daily trading volume in Southeast Asia jumped 29 percent in the nine months to September from a year earlier, Lee Porter, Asia-Pacific managing director for the operator of so-called dark pools, said in an interview in Singapore this week. That compares to a 12 percent gain for the Asia-Pacific region, which had $82 million a day in turnover in the period, he said.
The U.S.-based company, whose trading venues for institutional investors don’t display quotes publicly to minimize price fluctuations, started offering Thai stocks in April this year and Philippine shares in September 2012. Within Southeast Asia, it already provided trading in Singaporean, Indonesian and Malaysian equities.
“We’re seeing a lot of migration of assets from the U.S. into Asia,” said Seth Merrin, founder and chief executive officer of Liquidnet. “We’ve got a lot of different economies growing at different rates. It’s very important for international fund managers to be able to take advantage of these opportunities.”
The MSCI South East Asia Index dropped 6 percent last quarter, its biggest decline in two years, trailing the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index’s 4.7 percent advance. Still, the long-term story of the region remains positive, Porter said.
“Southeast Asia’s middle class is growing and there are massive amounts of natural resources,” he said. “These things are starting to play out now.”
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