April 15 marked a special day for The Taiwan Futures Exchange (TAIFEX), as it was the day that Dr. Len-Yu Liu, the chairman of TAIFEX, and his colleagues were present at an award ceremony staged in conjunction with the Asian Banker Summit 2015 held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center. This unique event gathered the top financial leaders and decision makers in the financial service industry in the Asia Pacific region. At the event, TAIFEX was awarded the top honor for the exchange—the Financial Derivatives Exchange of the Year. TAIFEX was named winner of the “Financial Derivatives Exchange of the Year” at The Asian Banker Financial Markets Awards 2015 Program. The program, administered by the Asian Banker since 2001, is used to benchmark institutional achievement and performance in the markets and exchanges landscape of the Asia Pacific region, and is the most prestigious of its kind. The award is yet another trophy of recognition to TAIFEX previous attributes, including the “Derivatives Exchange of the Year” by AsiaRisk in 2004 and 2009, respectively. The “Financial Derivatives Exchange of the Year” award is only one of several financial recognitions in the program that hands out each year. Previous winners included Korea Exchange, Bombay Stock Exchange, and National Stock Exchange of India. This award is a testament to Taiwan’s fast maturing futures exchange. Passing stringent evaluation criteria, Dr. Liu pointed out that TAIFEX was awarded especially for three reasons, including a historical high trading record in 2014, the launch of Eurex/TAIFEX Link, and the successful launch of ETF Futures. Achieved historical high trading record in 2014 Despite volatile market conditions, TAIFEX traded a total of 202 million contracts with an average daily trading volume of 816 thousand contracts, an all-time high since its inception in 1997. Launch of Eurex/TAIFEX link TAIFEX licensed Eurex to launch daily futures on TAIEX Futures (TX) and TAIEX Options (TXO), which are the two flagship products at TAIFEX. Covering the core trading sessions in U.S. and European markets, the Eurex/TAIFEX Link products are traded during Taiwanese after-hours, which extend the TAIFEX trading hours from 5 to 18 hours. As an after-hour facility, the Link creates a great channel for investors to manage their after-hour risks when the regular market is closed in Taiwan. Successful launch of ETF Futures TAIFEX became Asia’s second exchange to launch ETF futures on October 6, 2014, where it attained an average daily trading volume of 5,662 contracts in the first quarter, a surge of 94.4 percent from the previous one. TAIFEX currently lists five ETF futures, including Yuanta/P-shares Taiwan Top 50 ETF Futures, W.I.S.E. Yuanta/P-shares CSI 300 ETF Futures, Fubon SSE180 ETF Futures, Yuanta/P-shares SSE50 ETF Futures, and Fuh Hwa CSI300 A Shares ETF (FH CSI300) Futures, of which four are linked to China stocks. These China stocks-linked ETF Futures have greatly served participants’ risk management needs and increased TAIFEX international exposure. Aside from the above, the amendment of rules and mechanisms on risk controls of the exchange also contributed to the winning of the award. A global perspective: opening new businesses In addition to the above achievements, Dr. Liu indicated that TAIFEX products of stock index futures and single stock futures (including futures on ETFs with domestic component securities) as well as related options will soon follow the spot market in allowing greater daily price limits to a maximum 10 percent from the existing 7 percent, starting from June 1. A new level of margin requirement will also be added to single stock futures and equity options (excluding futures and options on ETFs with domestic component securities), in response to the relaxation on daily price limits. Relevant educational seminars will be made available to market participants. Meanwhile, TAIFEX also plans to implement new strike price systems to equity options in the near future to pair with price fluctuations of underlying stocks. As well, the exchange is reviewing the feasibility of extending the trading hours for China stocks-linked ETF Futures to 4:15pm. The move will significantly strengthen TAIFEX competitiveness in a global context. According to Dr. Liu, given the surge of Renminbi (RMB) deposits in Taiwan and its expanding cash pools, TAIFEX is in communication with the Financial Supervisory Commission and Taiwan’s Central Bank, to list RMB FX futures in Q3 of the year. In TAIFEX planning, the RMB FX futures will be traded and listed in an USD/RMB currency pair, and denominated in RMB. “The launch of RMB FX futures can meet the market needs, and on the other hand, keep in line with the trend of RMB internationalization. We will be able to be on par with other major exchanges in the world, including Hong Kong and Singapore,” Dr. Liu concluded.