MARKETS & INVESTING | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

HKEX to launch first renminbi currency options on March 20

The USD/CNH options will be the first currency options traded at HKEX.

According to a statement, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) will introduce its planned Renminbi (RMB) Currency Options on Monday, 20 March 2017.

The US dollar-Offshore RMB (USD/CNH) Options will be the first currency options traded at HKEX.

The eight contract months on the launch day will comprise April, May, June, July, September and December 2017, and March and June 2018.

HKEX has invited Futures Exchange Participants (FEPs) to apply to serve as liquidity providers for USD/CNH Options, and it is planning a joint promotion programme with FEPs, which will include sponsorship of marketing activities, support on promotional materials and awards for top programme participants. To enhance transparency and encourage market development, a list of FEPs offering trading of USD/CNH Options will be posted on the HKEX website. For details, please see today's circular.

The new product will complement HKEX's USD/CNH Futures, which have been the world leaders in liquidity and distribution among exchanges over the last few years, and other RMB Currency Futures. HKEX accounts for about two-thirds of the open interest for all the world's exchange-traded USD/CNH futures.

The total trading volume of HKEX's USD/CNH Futures in 2016 rose 105 per cent from the previous year to an all-time high of 538,594 contracts (ie, US$54 billion, or RMB370 billion#, in notional amount). Last month, trading was up 57 per cent from January 2016 and there was record high open interest (46,711 contracts, ie, US$4.7 billion, or RMB32.0 billion#, in notional amount, on 4 January) and single day trading (20,338 contracts, ie, US$2.0 billion, or RMB14.0 billion#, on 5 January). Since 14 February 2017, a new contract month and 16 new calendar spread combos of USD/CNH Futures have been available for trading. 

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