Asia Expands Market Data Usage

Terry Flanagan

Asia represents a lucrative opportunity for providers of market data as that region quickly builds up the trading infrastructure to facilitate cross-border trading.

Tora, a provider of advanced trading technology and financial services, has tapped ACTIV Financial to provide advanced enterprise market data for increased throughput capacity with hardware acceleration over a reduced infrastructure footprint.

Tora will utilize ACTIV’s Asian market data content, including newly added Bursa Malaysia, Indonesia Stock Exchange, Philippine Stock Exchange, Stock Exchange of Thailand and Thailand Futures Exchange.

“Asia presents market data vendors with challenges and opportunities unique to the region,” said Ben Collins, executive director, APAC and EMEA at ACTIV Financial. “It combines a trading environment which is emerging in terms of age and complexity, but mature in terms of level of investment from local and international investors. Coupled with geographical and asset class diversity, a keen eye for value and less established relationships with legacy market data vendors, Asia offers smaller data providers a more level playing field than the more developed markets of the U.S. and Europe.”

ACTIV’s content set is delivered to Tora trading applications via ActivFeed, a multicast data stream that is fully hosted and managed by ACTIV to deliver every tick on every instrument in a small bandwidth footprint, allowing for greater latency performance and service stability.

“Our trading clients look to Tora to provide a high-quality data service to successfully complete their trading strategies,” said Nick Mussallem, Tora’s managing director, global operations. “We see the addition of ACTIV as an added value for our clients as they focus on tackling the growing data volumes that are characteristic of Asia markets.”

Traders need fast and reliable access to a wide breadth of market data to stay competitive, noted Collins. The partnership with Tora demonstrates “that the scalability, best-of-breed performance and low total cost of ownership we’ve seen from ACTIV’s platform in North America are applicable globally,” he said.

ACTIV has expanded into more than 10 new Asian markets in response to client requests and growing investor activity in the region. Tora has plans to extend its current focus on Asian markets and will rely on ACTIV to provide market data services for additional markets.

“Asian consumers of data now demand that their local data is processed at least in the region, if not in their incumbent city,” said Collins. “Ticker plants in Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore and Sydney are essential, and Korea, Shanghai and Osaka follow closely behind.”

He continued, “This presents vendors with significant levels of investment; the physical distances between trading venues require expensive network legs and the number of data centers adds to the infrastructure cost. With above average exchange redistribution fees, the total cost of creating a viable exchange feed product in Asia is high.”

The reward for making this investment in Asia is great provided it includes high levels of service with robust commercial models. This does not mean the cheapest product, but rather the level and quality of service, total cost of ownership and a price that reflects the use of data.

“Buyers will not be influenced solely by the name on the label,” said Collins. “ACTIV Financial has seen a good return on its investment in Asia. Use of FPGA technology means that we can do more heavy duty processing of data feeds, which means we can provide a content rich data solution with a very low infrastructure footprint and built-in capacity for future trading volume growth. For a firm planning their market data strategy for the next 5 years, a transparent low total cost of ownership with capacity for future growth is essential.”

Image via iStock

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