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For highly experienced Swiss derivatives trader Giuseppe Rosamilla, the attraction of the Far East continues to appeal as he this week joins Hong Kong-based Oriental Pearl Group Investment Holding as a gold and silver trader.
Precious metals trading via electronic platforms has been a subject of great interest to banks and FX firms alike during the last year, with some of the larger banks having embarked on projects to merge their metal trading desks with FX trading divisions, distancing the buoyant precious metals business units from ever-shrinking commodities desks.
As far as operational efficiency is concerned, placing interbank gold dealing and FX trading on electronic platforms under one business unit is resulting in a far easier means for FX traders to execute precious metals deals, allowing banks to reduce operating costs by consolidating asset classes into one e-trading business unit.
This dynamic has led to a degree of commonality between FX and metals traders, ranging from bank platforms to the retail market.
Mr. Rosamilla’s career path reflects this dynamic to some extent, having made his way to Hong Kong from Lugano, Switzerland in 2012, following three years at BPS (Suisse) where he traded listed derivatives and currencies on electronic platforms.
Prior to his tenure at BPS, Mr. Rosamilla spent three years at Sagres Securities in Lugano, where he traded options, equities, and futures orders on European, American and Asian markets for Institutional clients, hedge funds, and family offices.
Whilst Switzerland is undoubtedly the most stable and well organized jurisdiction worldwide for bank activity, the Asia Pacific region has experienced rapid changes in its entire ecosystem with mainland China having struck deals with Russia with regard to swaps, and a renminbi trading hub having been launched in Sydney, Australia, signaling the possibility of being able to do certain types of business directly with mainland China.
Hong Kong’s economic landscape is somewhat different these days. Whilst Switzerland’s traditional banking sector retains its vault-like security and its gentlemanly candor, Hong Kong has experienced a substantial amount of political unrest during recent months, resulting in disruption to the banking sector and financial markets economy.
Hong Kong being a region which performs a vast number of institutional FX order flow, as well as interbank activity which has been conducted without any inkling of instability in times gone by, this is most certainly a matter of potential concern for many companies.
As of September 30, the Hong Kong dollar, RMB, US dollar and Euro Real Time Gross Settlement systems recorded a total transaction volume equivalent to HK$1.7 trillion, which was about normal. As morning gave way to afternoon, however, a total of 33 branches of 19 banks were temporarily closed. Customers were advised by HKMA to pay attention to the announcements of relevant banks.
Meanwhile, mainland China continues to strengthen its position, with Shanghai’s free trade zone becoming a region of interest to FX companies and banks.
Mr. Rosamilla’s choice of future employer could well prove to be a shrewd one under these circumstances, as its position in Hong Kong allows the firm to serve many joint venture partners across the world, and providing consultancy services across the US, Europe and Asia Pacific free-market nations, however with its original headquarters in Shanghai, the Oriental Pearl Group stands to weather any storm that Hong Kong’s situation may cause.