News Center
06 Dec 2023


Expanding liquidity: An interview with Henky Toha

Author: Ross Lancaster from Acuiti

Henky Toha founded HNK Alpha in 2000 and grew it into one of Singapore's most active proprietary trading firms. HNK Alpha has been a long-time advocate of electronic trading venues and supports liquidity in a range of asset classes and geographies. HNK Alpha has actively participated during the extended trading hours since its introduction. 

What benefits did Eurex's extended trading hours bring to your firm?

As we are based in Asia, it is great to be able to trade Eurex products in our time zone, and I believe most of the financial community here would echo this view. Asia has repeatedly proven to be a critical piece of the 24-hour global trading time zone, and its importance to that system is only growing. 

We often see markets react and make the biggest moves during Asian hours, dictating the tone for the subsequent Western markets. Therefore, trading venues should be structured to create the deepest liquidity pools possible and encourage trading opportunities between more market participants. As more products come online, we expect more market participants and trading opportunities to emerge in these sessions.

Were you trading European exposures before the launch of the Eurex Asian hours initiative?

Before the extension of trading hours, we were trading minimally in European products, so the launch of the Asian hours initiative definitely got us more involved. After Eurex launched the extension, we have seen healthy growth in order book liquidity. That is a positive sign and should create a virtuous cycle where more participants are encouraged to trade. Another attraction has been the broad range of products available, allowing us to trade both equity indexes and hedge global interest rate risk more effectively during macro events. 

What are the unique trading opportunities that you see in trading STOXX®?

The STOXX® Europe 600 index is a well-diversified index offering broader coverage of more European markets and industries, so it provides another angle to get involved in the European equities market. A trading strategy versus the more well-known EURO STOXX 50® futures could be interesting at times.

What other products would you like to see offered during the Asian hours?

Given the markets' tug-of-war views of inflation and interest rates, it would be logical to also have the Euribor and €STR contracts available during Asian hours since the Bund/Bobl/Schatz futures can already be traded in the Asian time zones. We have seen great growth in these existing contracts, with very active trading sessions during significant macro events like the US regional banking crisis or the US-China breakthrough in trade talks. 

Given the positive track record with these products, we would welcome an expansion of the interest rate product suite and refine the positioning opportunities available in this market. 

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