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Singapore is now the third largest forex market — maybe

Singapore is now the third largest foreign exchange market in the world, behind the U.K. and the U.S., according to Bloomberg — which got the information from the Monetary Authority of Singapore — which, in turn, gleaned the information from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). However, I haven’t been able to locate the BIS source for this information. (The BIS Quarterly Review for September 2013 has not yet been posted on the internet.)

This 3rd-place ranking for Singapore is based on overall foreign exchange trading volume — not specifically retail forex trading volume.

In recent years, Japan has accounted for a very large volume of retail forex trading (out of proportion to their overall foreign exchange trading volume). And Japan may still be the largest retail forex trading market in Asia.

In about 3 months, we will have a new Triennial Central Bank Survey from the BIS, which will give us up-to-date metrics for Japan, Singapore and all the other major forex markets. That Survey (as its title indicates) is released every 3 years, so the metrics reported in the Survey typically change dramatically from one Survey to the next.

The Bloomberg article claims that overall worldwide foreign exchange trading volume is now 6.67 trillion USD per day, and they claim that this figure comes from the BIS. Again, I’m unable to locate their BIS source.

Note that, for technical reasons, the BIS reports 3 different figures for overall world foreign exchange trading volume in each 3-year Triennial Survey. In 2010 (the most recent Survey published), for example, those 3 volume figures were: $5.53 trillion/day, $5.03 trillion/day, and $3.98 trillion/day (referred to, respectively, as gross volume, net-gross volume, and net-net volume).

Presumably, the $6.67 trillion/day figure reported by Bloomberg is the latest so-called gross volume figure, although Bloomberg does not make this clear. If that’s the case, then the world’s overall gross foreign exchange trading volume increased by 20.6% (from $5.53 trillion/day to $6.67 trillion/day) in the 3-year period from April 2010 to April 2013.

Here’s a link to the 2010 Triennial Central Bank Survey — http://www.bis.org/publ/rpfxf10t.pdf

The 2013 Survey will be published in December.

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