The highly focused event has been well received by the marketplace as there is no other EM meeting place to discuss issues surrounding local growth pairs as well as the rise of RMB, and Singapore was no exception.
Beginning with the ‘Economic Tennis Match’ which pitted Callum Henderson of Standard Chartered against Philip Wee of DBS on the subject of the future of five emerging growth economies. India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines . Each having their own view on what attendee’s should be aware and wary of in the underlying economy.
The addition of the virtual economist made it even harder and in many respects more exciting and interesting for both speaker and audience alike. For example “By 2020 the average age in China will be 37, in India it will be 29, and in Europe it will be 49 – will China get old before it gets rich ? – will India meet middle income while it is still young?…”
The second panel – ‘Battle of the Exchanges’ quickly became the battle with the Moderator. As the SGX, CME and MoEX answered tough and sometimes annoying questions – many of them starting with “ I’m no FX expert…but”.
Much discussion on the day focussed on Singapore’s overtaking of Tokyo in FX trading and how EM had added to that. How its geographical location as the ASEAN centre, growing connectivity, language and regulatory stance all added up to the likelihood of it giving even New York a run for its money in a few years time.
Again, following on from the London event the very idea of Algo trading in the EM space attracted some attention. Where everyone wants the benefits of eTrading – speed, efficiency, cost and risk reduction. But not at the price of expensive connectivity, colo, flash, swarm and all the other downsides of HFT.
The final panel- which is always the tough one named: Currency War Part II The USD Strikes Back - involved one panellist removing his name badge and stating ‘this is just my view not that of anyone else’ which went down very well with the audience and panel alike.
The US economy has a far reaching affect on the currencies of the BRICS and N11 whether they like it or not.
Perhaps best summarized by the UK Chancellor’s comments on the subject at the most recent G20 meeting in Australia. “The Fed’s decision to slow its asset purchases (so-called “tapering”) was at most the trigger for instability.…. The underlying cause was domestic fragility, often built up over a long period of time.”
The Next EMFX Conference is in NYC May 6th.