HKEX to offer RMB Currency Options

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) plans to offer Renminbi (RMB) Currency Options and is aiming to roll out a US dollar/Offshore RMB (USD/CNH) contract in the first quarter of this year, subject to market readiness.

HKEX’s USD/CNH Options provide the following trading benefits:

  • Flexibility of trading and hedging strategies for various market conditions
  • Limited counterparty risk, with HKEX acting as central clearing counterparty
  • Transparency and efficiency of standardised exchange-traded contracts
  • Cost effectiveness of trading on a margin basis
  • Block trade facilities and tenor coverage up to 16 months

The new options will complement HKEX’s USD/CNH Futures and other RMB Currency Futures. USD/CNH Futures’ total trading volume in 2016 was 538,594 contracts (ie, US$54 billion, or RMB376 billion#, in notional amount) and was up by 105% compared with the previous year. The open interest for USD/CNH Futures rose to an all-time high of 45,635 contracts (ie, US$4.6 billion, or RMB31.8 billion#, in notional amount) on 30 December 2016 and now accounts for about two-thirds of the open interest for all the world’s exchange-traded USD/CNH futures.

There has also been an increase in the number of Futures Exchange Participants (FEPs) in the market, with 13 newcomers offering the contract to their clients since the start of 2016, bringing the total number of FEPs that offer access to the product to 103.

Julien Martin, HKEX

Julien Martin, HKEX’ Head of Fixed Income and Currency Product Development, commented:

RMB Currency Options are part of our efforts to provide a full range of RMB-related derivatives to take advantage of our unique opportunity to help entrench Hong Kong as a gateway for cross-border fund flows and a risk management centre in connection with the internationalisation of the RMB. The introduction of Currency Options will provide investors with a tool to execute more trading strategies.

More details can be found here.

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