Media Releases
Published Date: 09 October 2001

Results of the Triennial Central Bank Survey of Foreign Exchange and Derivatives Market Activity

Maintains Position Amongst Top 4 Global Foreign Exchange Centres

9 Oct 2001...The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) conducted its latest Triennial Central Bank Survey of Foreign Exchange (FX) and Derivatives Market Activity in 2001. The geographical coverage of the latest survey was expanded to 48 countries from 43 in 1998. (Please refer to for the BIS press release on the preliminary global results of the survey.) In Singapore, MAS collated data on the operations of 192 commercial banks and merchant banks in the country. The turnover results were based on trading volumes during the month of April 2001.

Foreign Exchange (FX) Trading - Singapore Maintains Position amongst Top 4 Global FX Centres

2   The survey results show that Singapore continues to hold its position as one of the top 4 global centres for FX trading, after UK, US and Japan. Singapore has been consistently ranked within the top 4 FX centres in the world since 1992.1

3   Average daily volume of foreign exchange trading in Singapore for April 2001 was US$101b, on "net" basis 2. Whilst this represents a decline of 27.6% from the average daily transactions volume of US$139b in April 1998, the decline is in line with global trends. Average daily turnover in global FX centres also witnessed significant declines, from US$1,490b in April 1998 to US$1,210b in April 2001.

4   The fall in FX market activity in Singapore could be attributed to the decline of trading in European currencies as a result of the introduction of the euro, as well as a decline in the volume of Yen-denominated trades, due to the consolidation of Yen-denominated FX activities.

5   Singapore's FX market continues to be dominated by FX swaps, followed by spot and outright forwards. FX swaps accounted for 57.3% of average daily turnover, whilst spot and outright forwards accounted for 34.3% and 8.4% of average daily turnover respectively. (Chart 1)

Chart 1: Composition of FX Trading in Singapore (April 2001)

chart 1

6   The survey results showed that Singapore's FX market remains international in character with the major currencies dominating a large portion of the transactions. Transactions involving the US$ against the EUR and JPY contributed to 25.5% and 24.0% of the total foreign exchange trading volume respectively in April 2001. Total S$ transactions recorded an average daily volume of US$11.6b. US$/S$ transactions accounted for 11.2% of total foreign exchange turnover.

7   Transactions among financial institutions accounted for 89.5% of daily foreign exchange turnover in Singapore. The share of transactions amongst Singapore-based financial institutions was 16.6%. (Chart 2)

Chart 2: Transactions by Counter-parties



Spot / Outright Forwards / FX Swaps (Daily Average)

Volume (US$ b)

As Share of Sgp Market (%)

All Financial Institutions









Non-Financial Customers









Derivatives Trading - Singapore is 3rd Largest OTC Derivatives Trading Centre in Asia-Pacific

8   The latest survey results revealed that Singapore is the 3rd largest OTC derivatives trading centre in Asia-Pacific. The average daily OTC derivatives turnover reported by Singapore was US$6.3b in April 2001, from US$11.2b in April 1998. Generally, European centres have been more dominant in OTC derivatives trading in April 2001, with most Asian centres seeing declines in OTC derivatives volumes.

9   Singapore FX derivatives activities averaged US$3.1b daily. OTC options continued to be the most prevalent derivatives traded, averaging a daily turnover of US$2.8b. Currency swaps transactions amounted to US$0.3b in April 2001.

10   The volume of single-currency interest rate derivatives transacted in Singapore daily averaged US$3.2b in April 2001. Interest rate swaps averaged nearly US$2.4b daily, accounting for 74.1% of all single-currency interest rate transactions. The remaining single-currency interest rate transactions comprised forward rate agreements and OTC options. (Chart 3)

Chart 3: Average Daily Derivatives Trading in Singapore April 2001




Volume (US$ b)

Share (%)

Total Foreign Exchange Derivatives



 Currency Swaps



 OTC Options



Total Single-Currency Interest Rate Derivatives



 Forward Rate Agreements












11   There has also been a trend of increased S$ trades. Average daily volume of S$ interest rate swaps traded in Singapore in April 2001 was US$300.4m. This is a significant increase from the April 1998 data of US$9.4m. Likewise, average daily turnover for US$/S$ FX OTC Options recorded a substantial increase, from US$0.65m in April 1998 to US$160.4m in April 2001.


1 Singapore ranking for FX Trading in previous surveys : 1989: 5th; 1992: 4th; 1995: 4th; 1998: 3rd; 2001: 4th

2 Figures are adjusted for local double-counting of transactions among financial institutions in Singapore.