e-FX Boom Continues, But Resistance Remains in Some Quarters

Although almost 50% of global foreign exchange institutions still say they have no intention of trading online, growth within the ranks of eFX market participants was enough to double electronic trading volumes to $8 trillion in 2003, according to a survey by Greenwich Associates. Electronic foreign exchange boomed last year as new institutions logged on and past converts shifted large portions of their business online, said the report. This growth — which Greenwich attributes to institutions that experimented with e-trading in past years shifting big volumes online in 2003 — is supporting an unexpectedly robust host of eFX service providers. ‘People have consistently predicted consolidation among electronic service providers,’ noted Greenwich Associates consultant Tim Sangston, ‘but instead we’ve seen exactly the opposite — the entry of new firms, each attacking the market at different levels.’ However, the research found that proliferation and growth are taking place in only one-half of the global FX market, as eFX service providers have made little headway among a hard-core block of e-trading holdouts.


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