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Nordea Opens Currency Desk in Singapore in 24/7 Trading Push

Nordea Bank AB, the Nordic region’s largest bank, will open a full-scale currency and money markets desk in Singapore to offer clients trading around the clock as it expands services for customers with operations in Asia.

The new Singapore desk will initially employ eight people, including three traders and two currency sales people, and will probably add more staff in the future, Peter Dalmalm, head of sales and research at Nordea Markets in Stockholm, said yesterday in a telephone interview.

“This will enable us to offer clients online trading 24/7 from our currency desks in Copenhagen, New York and Singapore and improve our coverage of the currency markets,” Dalmalm said. “We see Singapore and Asia as a very important location for us to be in in the future, given the region’s strong growth and the strong development of our customers there.”

Nordea already offers corporate banking services to its Nordic clients and their affiliates doing business in Asia and international ship finance from its office in Singapore, which it established in 1980. The lender also has offices in Brazil, China, Germany, Russia, the U.K. and the U.S., in addition to the Nordic and Baltic markets. Swedish rival SEB AB also offers foreign exchange trading in Singapore, the third-biggest currency trading hub in the world.

Manipulation Probe

Nordea’s expansion in Singapore comes as some of the world’s biggest banks face probes into potential manipulation of currency markets.

Regulators in the U.S., Britain and Switzerland are among those investigating the foreign-exchange market after Bloomberg News reported in June that some traders had pooled information about their positions with counterparts at other firms and tried to manipulate the benchmark WM/Reuters rates.

At least 12 traders have been suspended and about a dozen banks, including New York-based Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and London-based Barclays Plc, have said they’ve been contacted by authorities.

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