SGX CEO Magnus Böcker has seen tremendous growth at his exchange over the past year and the Singapore market is poised to expand further in the coming year.

Böcker, who sat down with JLN editor-in-chief Jim Kharouf at the FIA Boca Conference this month, said SGX has increased its derivatives volume 40 percent in 2013 and is exploring a host of new partnerships and initiating new product launches.

He said that competition is wide open in Asia, unlike other developed markets where the battle over contracts, marketshare and services is a battle on each front.

“When we look into competition in well-developed markets like the US and in Europe, there is a fierce competition in certain products, certain areas, certain services,” he said. “In Asia … we’re still building the market, the number of users of derivatives, the number of users of risk management tools are still very small, and a fraction of what you will see in the next 10 or 20 years.”

For SGX, the focus today is more on education, broadening its customer base and adding new contracts and services.

“We welcome US and European exchanges to Asia to help us to build a market,” he said.

To grow that market, Böcker said it will continue to roll out new products but also increase SGX’s distribution. The exchange is opening a new office in Hong Kong and India in 2014 and perhaps a US office in the next year or so and doubled its staff in its London and Tokyo offices. It is also looking to add more clearing services to grow its business.

In terms of technology, Böcker said that the role of technology in the exchange space has changed dramatically over the past decade. It’s no longer the differentiator it used to be in terms of speed or access.

“Today, everyone has good technology,” he said. “We see technology as an enabler, not a unique tool. I think, therefore, you will see us adding new products and services just in a different way in the next 10 years.”

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