Deutsche Boerse Drags Its Feet in Singapore as ICE Jumps In

  • "Internal and external reasons" caused Deutsche Boerse delay
  • Both firms want Singapore hubs to entice Chinese investors

Deutsche Boerse AG delayed the start date for its derivatives market in Singapore until 2017, putting it more than a year behind Intercontinental Exchange Inc., which opens its futures venue in the city-state in November.

Both firms are setting up futures markets in Singapore to entice new customers in Asia to trade their most-popular contracts.

Deutsche Boerse, which had planned to open its exchange in the second quarter of 2016, pushed back its first day of trading “due to internal and external reasons,” it said in a statement on Wednesday. ICE Futures Singapore, which has already been delayed three times, will hold its first day of trading on Nov. 17, the owner of the New York Stock Exchange said in a statement earlier the same day.

The crash in China’s stock market since June and the reaction of the Chinese authorities to falling asset prices have greatly increased uncertainty about regulation in the country. That matters to Singapore because the opening up of the Chinese economy was expected to include greater flexibility for mainland Chinese investors to buy and sell products outside their nation’s borders.

Deutsche Boerse’s Eurex Exchange Asia had planned to list contracts on two-, five- and 10-year German government debt, also known as schatz, bobl and bund futures. It also intended to offer the same range of foreign-exchange futures as Eurex Frankfurt with products for six main currency pairs. In Wednesday’s statement, the company said that the scope of the project would be unaffected by the delay.

ICE originally wanted trading on its Singapore market to begin at the end of 2014. Announcing the most recent delay -- in May -- a spokeswoman said the firm still had to help its customers prepare for the new exchange. ICE, which owns futures markets in the U.S. and Europe, bought Singapore Mercantile Exchange Pte for $150 million last year, giving it a license to trade and clear derivatives in the city-state.

The futures products available at launch on ICE Futures Singapore will be Brent crude oil, gasoil, gold and two contracts tied to the Chinese currency. China’s securities regulator in March expressed concern to Singapore over ICE’s plans to offer cotton and sugar futures.

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