Bloomberg News

Taiwan Exchange Seeks to Make Trading System 20 Times Faster

January 16, 2012

(Updates with trading speeds in second paragraph.)

Jan. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Taiwan Stock Exchange Corp. is upgrading its trading platform to make it 20 times faster, Chairman Schive Chi said in an interview in Taipei today.

The new system will reduce the amount of time it completes a transaction to 5 milliseconds from 100 milliseconds, he said. A millisecond is one thousandth of a second. The platform will be able to handle 30,000 orders per second, 10 times more than it does currently.

“These initiatives aim to attract more investors to the Taiwan market,” Schive said.

Exchanges globally have been investing in high-speed infrastructure to attract investors and listings. The fastest platforms in the world are the London Stock Exchange, which can process a trade in 120 microseconds and the Singapore Exchange Ltd., which does the same in 90 microseconds. A microsecond is one millionth of a second.

Officials are trying to bolster interest in Taiwan’s exchange as trading volume has fallen. In the past month, the Taiwanese bourse had an average daily volume of 2.9 billion shares. The total is 47 percent less than the same period last year when there was an average of 5.5 billion shares bought or sold daily, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Taiwan is the Asia-Pacific region’s seventh-largest exchange by market capitalization, with companies listed there having a total value of $716 billion. Taiwan falls behind South Korea on the list and ahead of Singapore, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Other exchanges in the region have also been working to catch up with the faster global exchanges. Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. began using a platform in December that allows it to process a trade in 2 milliseconds, down from 130 milliseconds. South Korea has also announced plans to revamp its system and bring trading times down to 60 microseconds from 20 milliseconds.

--Editors: Darren Boey, Richard Frost

To contact the reporters on this story: Adela Lin in Taipei at alin95@bloomberg.net; Eleni Himaras in Hong Kong at ehimaras@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Darren Boey at dboey@bloomberg.net


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