(MENAFN - Arab News) The Bahrain Financial Exchange (BFX), the first multi-asset exchange in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, has announced achieving a key milestone with the cumulative (single-side) trading turnover value crossing the 1 billion mark on April 24, with the total trading volume increasing to 24,046 contracts.
The highest (single-side) daily trading turnover was 58.27 million, with a trading volume of 1,189 contracts achieved on April 23. The cumulative trading turnover of the BFX Futures reached the first 500 million milestone in 92 trading days; whereas, the next 500 million was achieved in the subsequent 16 trading days. This indicates the growth in the momentum of the trading activity, largely due to the narrow bid-ask spread and higher liquidity.
Commenting on the occasion, Arshad Khan, managing director and chief executive officer of the BFX and the BFX Clearing and Depository Corporation (BCDC), said: "We are proud to exceed the 1 billion total trading turnover volume mark. Witnessing such a remarkable growth represents a concrete proof for the effectiveness of our offerings across all the products. Moreover, we see this milestone as a direct result of our extensive business development initiatives cross all the MENA markets, and our ability to play a key role in directing the region toward a leading position in the fast growing financial markets. While continuing to grow our business, we will persist on drawing the world's attention to our market via our unique and fully automated trading platform offering multi-asset financial instruments across conventional and Islamic finance product portfolio."
The trading turnover for the period between April 24 was 523.44 million, an 11 times increase over the corresponding period in December 2011. During the same period, the trading volume has increased around 10 times, from 1,170 contracts to 11,150 contracts. Remarkably, the total trading turnover in April 2012 (till April 24) was more than the total trading turnover from the launch date of Nov. 23, 2011 to March 31, 2012.
Since its launch date, the BFX Gold Futures contract has traded over 11.96 metric tons (384,672 troy ounces), with a trading turnover of 640.47 million (12,021 contracts). Trading on the BFX Gold Futures has increased by 13.38 times for the period between April 1 and April 24, 2012, as compared to the corresponding period in December 2011. The total cumulative trading turnover on the BFX Euro Futures reached 263.23 million (8,003 contracts). Over 4,340,000 million British thermal units (Btu) of the BFX Natural Gas Futures (trading turnover of 10.87 million; volume of 1,736 contracts) have been traded. The cumulative trading turnover on the BFX Indian Rupee Index Futures - a unique and innovative product - has already reached 116.69 million (volume of 2,286 contracts) in a mere 31 trading days. The BFX Gold Futures contributed to over 62.11 percent of the total cumulative trading turnover and 49.99 percent of the total trading volume. The next most popular product was the BFX Euro Futures accounted for 25.53 percent of the total trading turnover and 33.28 percent of the trading volume.
The Open Interest in the BFX INR Futures Index April 2012 Futures reached 168 contracts on April 26 (contract maturity date), a 25.37 percent increase over the highest Open Interest in the March 2012 Futures (134 contracts on 21st March 2012). The open interest across all the BFX Futures peaked at 208 contracts on April 24, 2012.
The BFX is scheduled to launch other innovative products in the next months across various asset classes and instrument types. There has been an increase in interest from the international financial institutions for taking the BFX membership, particularly due to the attractiveness of the business-friendly environment of Bahrain and the uniqueness of the BFX market.