• ASX hiring at least 20 people to package data and sell on
  • Futures trading technology revamp to finish by April 2016

Australia’s main exchange operator is hiring at least 20 people to help crunch data that can be packaged and sold on, as it works on the biggest overhaul to its trading technology in more than a decade.

ASX Ltd. is creating a new team to analyze raw data, including information on latency and trade clearing, and sell it to customers, said David Raper, the firm’s head of trading and information services. In other changes, its futures market will move to a new technology platform in April and equity trading will join that same system in September 2016, he said.

“The project team within ASX will be about 20 people,” Raper said in an interview in Sydney. “Assuming it becomes more successful and that we are getting demand for these products, then we can just scale up more people.”

The revamp will see technology from Stockholm-based Cinnober Financial Technology AB integrate cash equities and futures trading on ASX for the first time next year. About a fifth of the firm’s more than 500 staff are working on the upgrade, Raper said. Australia’s A$47 trillion ($33 trillion) interest-rate derivatives market is Asia’s biggest and the country has a stock-market capitalization of about $1 trillion.

Cinnober’s systems are replacing a stock-trading platform provided by Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. and a futures venue developed in-house by the Australian securities exchange. It’s part of an overhaul, firstly to trading services and then to clearing and settlement, or so called post-trade, systems.

“On the new system it will be orders of magnitude quicker to deliver change,” said Raper. “And as a result, orders of magnitude cheaper to make those changes. So we will do more of them.”

Clearing Monopoly

The Australian government is assessing whether to extend the exchange’s monopoly on clearing and settlement of equity trades amid a pledge from Elmer Funke Kupper, who heads ASX, to cut the fees that brokers pay.

As ASX hires staff to expand the Sydney-based firm’s information business, Raper is trying to harness data from across the company’s various divisions.

“Across listings, trading, clearing, depositories businesses within ASX there’s a huge amount of data available that doesn’t see the light of day,” said Raper. “We’re creating an environment where that raw data can be analyzed to find insights to solve operational and compliance issues, provide more transparency into valuations and positions, for example. We’re recruiting people, looking to put technology infrastructure in place.”

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