Liquidnet launches in Thailand
Buy-side block trading venue Liquidnet has opened in Thailand, providing long-term institutional investors with another platform for trading the ASEAN market.
Thailand is a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, an organisation that seeks to promote GDP growth and trade links between member states including Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam. Thailand’s equity market was Asia’s best performing market in 2012, based on solid GDP growth (6.4%).
Liquidnet already operates in 10 markets in Asia Pacific, and claims to offer an average execution size, in Q1 this year, of $1.26 million. The venue is widely known in Europe for its network of long-only institutional investors, who use the platform to trade anonymously and reduce their market impact.
“Thailand is, in my personal view, a market where spread and liquidity issues can lead to high market impact costs, so the introduction of Liquidnet is a development I welcome,” said Richard Coulstock, head of dealing at buy-side firm Eastspring Investments in Singapore. “The ability to cross blocks at mid-market levels with no market impact could benefit our underlying clients and I have clearly seen the benefits of this in other markets.”
Dark pools such as Liquidnet have been gradually expanding their reach across Asia Pacific in recent years. Agency broker and technology provider ITG operates its Posit dark pool in several Asian markets, although it does not provide access to Thailand. Total dark trading across Asia Pacific was $4.93 billion in March 2013, up from $1.64 billion in March 2011, according to figures provided by Thomson Reuters.