Tradition prepares for launch of Forex ECN, now called ParFX

Adds Mitsubishi UFJ and Nomura as liquidity banks.

France’s Tradition S.A. announced that two leading Japanese banking groups, Mitsubishi UFJ and Nomura, are joining nine other banks (Barclays, BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, Royal Bank of Canada, SEB, Standard Chartered, State Street and UBS) in backing Tradition’s yet-to-be-launched spot Forex ECN, to be called ParFX. Tradition had previously named the venture TraFXpure.

As we wrote back in May when we broke the story on the planned venture, Tradition and its banking partners decided to launch a new Forex ECN as a response to the failure of existing ECNs (namely, ICAP’s EBS) to nullify the predatory behaviour of some high-frequency traders, who seemed to have had an unfair advantage from a technology and market data perspective. Since then, EBS has indeed lost its leading position in the industry, now sitting a far third behind Thomson Reuters and FXall — which will soon be combined, after Thomson Reuters purchased FXall last year.

Tradition still has not provided an exact timeline for the planned launch of ParFX, but the circumstances surrounding its launch certainly have changed. FX volumes are down, and the Thomson Reuters / FXall combination has grown to be the clear leader in a previously fragmented industry. ParFX’s backers better be patient as they try and grow the business — this reminds us somewhat of the launch just over two years ago of LMAX, which has chewed through millions of dollars and its original management team before finally seeing some better results lately.

Tradition itself is seeing some tough times, recently reporting that 2012 revenues were down 9% from 2011, with the second half of the year being 14% lower.

For more on the global Forex industry see the LeapRate-Dow Jones Forex Industry Report.

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