Singapore’s Commodity Exchange: Read This Before Trading At The SGX

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What is the Singapore Exchange?

The Singapore Exchange (SGX) is an investment holding company that operates one of Asia’s leading financial marketplaces.

SGX operates the most liquid, offshore marketplace for trading the major equity indexes of China, India, Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The exchange plays an important role in providing liquidity in the Asian marketplace.

SGX provides a full range of services:

MarketsSGX operates regulated and liquid marketplaces for trading equities, fixed income and derivatives.
Clearing and SettlementThe Central Depository (CDP), a wholly owned SGX subsidiary, provides clearing and settlement for SGX securities market products including:
  2. ETFs
  3. REITs
  4. Business Trusts
  5. Bonds
  6. Structured warrants
  7. Extended Settlement contracts
DepositoryThe CDP also operates as a central securities depository for SGX. This function allows the book-entry transfer of securities rather than the transfer of physical certificates.
ListingsSGX operates an international marketplace for the listing of shares and bonds:
  • The exchange provides listings for more than 750 companies with a market capitalization in excess of $750 billion
  • More than 40% of listed companies and 75% of listed bonds originate outside of Singapore

  • Data ServicesSGX offers a comprehensive suite of data products for market participants including:
    1. Real-time price feeds
    2. Historical data
    3. Reference data
  • SGX offers a diverse array of trading technology and market connectivity solutions for customers
  • SGX delivers customized indexing products across a range of asset classes
  • SGX Homepage

    History of the Singapore Exchange

    The holding company that operates SGX was formed on December 1, 1999, and it acquired the assets of three predecessor exchanges:

    1. Stock Exchange of Singapore (SES)
    2. Singapore International Monetary Exchange (Simex)
    3. Securities Clearing and Computer Services Pte Ltd (SCCS)

    Each of these exchanges received shares in the new entity known as Singapore Exchange Limited.

    On November 23, 2000, SGX listed its shares for trading on its own exchange. SGX became the second exchange in Asia Pacific to have its shares listed via a public offering and private placement. (* Shares of the Australian Stock Exchange (“ASX”) began trading in 1998).

    Key Events in the History of SGX

    Investment Bombay Stock Exchange2007SGX acquires a 5% stake.
    Opening Beijing office2008Expansion into China.
    Joint VentureNomura’s Chi-X2009This partnership, which received approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in 2010, created a dark pool trading platform.
    Opening London Office2010Decision to open office is part of a $250 million investment in Reach, a new faster trading platform based on Nasdaq OMX technology.
    PartnershipNASDAQ OMX2011Partners collaborate on a suite of tools to support companies listed in Asia.
    New Initiative Dual currency trading2012SGX provides for trading of stocks, bonds and other investments in both Singapore and US dollars.
    AcquisitionEnergy Market Company2014SGX acquired the remaining 51% of Energy Market Company (EMC). It acquired a 49% stake in 2012. EMC operates Singapore’s wholesale electricity market.
    AcquisitionThe Baltic Exchange2016The Baltic Exchange is the world’s only independent source of maritime market information for the trading and settlement of physical and derivative shipping contracts.

    Who Are the Singapore Exchange Executives?

    SGX is organized into 10 divisions, including the office of the President, which report to the CEO. Four additional divisions report to the President. SGX has a management team and board of directors with decades of both industry and financial markets experience.

    Kwa Chong Seng ChairmanKwa has served as a director on the SGX Board since September 2012 and Chairman of the Board since September 2016. He has 40 years of experience in the petroleum industry.

    His current roles include:
  • Chairman of Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd.
  • Non-executive director of Seatown Holdings Pte Ltd.
  • Chairman of the Advisory Committee of Dymon Asia Capital Ltd.
  • Deputy Chairman of the Public Service Commission
  • Board member of the Defence Science and Technology Agency
  • Loh Boon Chye Chief Executive OfficerLoh has served as CEO since July 2015. He also serves as an Executive and Non-Independent Director on the SGX Board. Loh has 27 years of experience in the financial services industry.

    His recent roles include:
  • Deputy President and Head of Asia Pacific Global Markets at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch (December 2012 to May 2015)
  • Country Executive for Singapore and Southeast Asia and a member of Bank of America-Merrill Lynch Asia Pacific Executive Committee

  • Between 1995 and 2012, Loh held various roles with Deutsche Bank AG:
  • Head of Corporate & Investment Banking for Asia Pacific
  • Head of Global Markets for Asia
  • Chief Executive of Global Markets at Deutsche Bank AG in Singapore
  • Muthukrishnan Ramaswami (Ramu)PresidentRamaswami was appointed President in 2012. He oversees operational aspects of SGX including:
    1. Membership & International Coverage (including all of SGX’s overseas offices)
    2. Market Data & Connectivity
    3. Operations & Technology
    Prior to his current role, Ramaswami presided over all the product groups covering Securities, Fixed Income, Derivatives and Market Data & Access.

    Ramaswami previously held senior positions at Citigroup in Operations, Technology and Transaction Banking in various locations including Mumbai, Singapore, Hong Kong, London and New York.
    Chng Lay ChewChief Financial OfficerChng oversees Finance, Treasury and Investor Relations as well as the Facilities Management Unit.
    He has 30 years of experience in accounting and financial management.

    In his previous role, Chng oversaw the finance functions of DBS Group’s operations in all countries outside Singapore.
    Agnes KoChief Risk OfficerKoh was appointed Chief Risk Officer in January 2014. She is responsible for advocating for and leading enterprise risk management activities at SGX including:
  • Formulating the risk framework
  • Assessing new products and business strategies
  • Managing the clearing risk of SGX’s securities and derivatives clearing house

  • Koh joined SGX in 2005. She is a chartered accountant and a member of the Singapore Institute of Chartered Accountants.

    How is the Singapore Exchange Regulated?

    SGX oversees the regulation of the exchanges and clearinghouses it operates, and in that role, functions as a self-regulatory organization (SRO). In addition, SGX works closely with three outside agencies that have regulatory oversight in the securities industry:

    1. Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS): An integrated supervisor overseeing all financial institutions in Singapore — banks, insurers, capital market intermediaries, financial advisors, and the stock exchange.
    2. Commercial Affairs Department (CAD): Part of the Singapore police force that supports the nation’s Anti-Money Laundering/Counter-Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) framework.
    3. Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA): The national regulator of business entities, public accountants and corporate service providers.

    SGX has adopted six key principles that inform how it conducts regulation of its markets:

     Guiding PrincipleDescription
    1Disclosure-based regulationProviding timely, accurate, and adequate disclosure of all matters needed to make informed decisions about SGX listed products.
    2Comprehensive risk managementMaking the safe and efficient operation of SGX clearing houses a very high priority.
    3Risk-based targeting of regulatory activitiesAllocating greater regulatory resources to sponsors, member firms and matters that pose the greatest regulatory risks.
    4Balanced approach to international best practiceSGX aims to ensure that its rules and regulatory activities are consistent with international best practice for exchanges.
    5TransparencySGX consults market users, where appropriate, on the proposed introduction of new products and initiatives. The exchange also aims to keep the public informed via its website.
    6SGX as frontline regulator and managing regulatory conflictMaintain a collaborative relationship with regulatory and enforcement agencies such as the MAS, CAD and ACRA on matters such as:
    1. Regulatory policies
    2. Risk management
    3. Regulatory oversight
    4. Enforcement actions

    SGX self-regulatory functions cover the following six areas:

    Regulatory FunctionDescription
    IPO Admissions
  • Reviewing applications for listings
  • Accrediting and authorizing issue managers, full sponsors and registered professionals who introduce issuers
  • Listing ComplianceEnsuring that listed companies comply with exchange rules
  • Monitoring price movements and trading for unusual activity
  • Disciplining members, trading representatives or registered representatives when necessary for rules violations
  • Member SupervisionAdmitting and monitoring members to ensure compliance with SGX rules.
    Regulatory Development and PolicyProviding input for SGX initiatives and helping craft new solutions and policies.
    Listing Policy and Product AdmissionDeveloping the listing policy of SGX and managing the SGX listing manual.

    Traders can consult the regulatory section of the SGX website to learn more about each of these regulatory functions.

    What Products Does the Singapore Exchange Trade?

    SGX products fall into three categories: securities, fixed income and derivatives.

    CategoryProductsMarket Facts
    SecuritiesStocksInvestors can buy and sell ordinary (common) and/or preference (preferred) shares depending on the company.
    Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)Professionally managed funds that invest in income generating real estate assets.
    Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)Open-ended investment funds that attempt to replicate the performance of an underlying index or asset class (such as commodities)
    Leveraged and Inverse Products (L&I)
  • Financial derivatives that amplify the daily returns of an underlying index
  • L&I products aim to keep a daily constant amount of leverage during the investment time frame (e.g., 2x or 3x)
  • Daily Leverage Certificates (DLCs)A DLC offers investors fixed leverage of three to seven times the daily performance of the underlying index it tracks.
    Structured WarrantsProducts issues by financial institutions that enable investors to participate in the price performance of an asset at a fraction of the asset price.
    American Depositary Receipts (ADRs)Shares that trade in the United States and represent an investment in a foreign company.
    Fixed Income
  • Retail Bonds
  • Wholesale Bonds
  • Seasoning Bonds
  • SGX offers bond trading to both retail and institutional investors. Retail traders are restricted to purchasing only certain types of fixed income products. SGX has a separate trading platform for institutional bonds traders.
    DerivativesEquity IndexTrack the performance of benchmark indexes.
    EquitiesSingle stock futures (SSFs) track the performance of individual stocks.
    Dividend IndexSGX is the first exchange in Asia to trade dividend future contracts.
    Foreign ExchangeFutures and options contracts on major Asian currencies.
    Interest RatesFutures and options contracts on bonds.
    Iron Ore and SteelSwaps and futures contracts.
    RubberFutures and forward contracts.
    FreightDry bulk futures and options.
    CoalSwaps and futures contracts.
    1. Benzene
    2. Para-xylene
    3. Polypropylene
    4. Polyethylene
    5. Styrene monomer
    6. Mono-ethylene glycol
    Swaps and futures contracts.
    GoldPhysically deliverable Kilobar gold futures contract.
    OilSwaps and futures contracts on refined oil and fuel oil products.
    Natural gasSwaps and futures contracts on liquefied natural gas (LNG).
    ElectricityQuarterly and monthly base load electricity futures.

    How Can You Start Trading?

    Many regulated brokerage firms offer contracts for difference (CFDs) based on products traded on SGX such as commodities or shares of Asian companies.

    CFDs are a derivative instrument that offers retail traders a way to invest in financial markets. CFDs allow traders to use leverage to bet on the price of financial assets. The value of a CFD is the difference between the price of a financial instrument at the time of its purchase and its current price.

    Traders can open an account at one of these regulated brokerage firms and begin trading CFDs based on SGX products.

    CFD commodity brokers available in :

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    CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 73.90%-89.00% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

    How Does the SGX Conduct Trading?

    The SGX conducts trading on its exchange with two different trading engines. Each one is designed for trading specific asset classes:


    Securities traders on the SGX use the Reach trading engine developed by NASDAQ-OMX and built on its Genium platform. This platform offers high speed and reliable access. Traders can purchase one of two REACH access plans depending on their needs:

    1. SGXAccess Fix is designed to allow traders to connect to SGX with minimal reconfiguration or redevelopment of their trading systems.
    2. SGXAccess API offers faster trading speeds and lower latency. This connection gives traders access to the market through a proprietary application interface.


    Derivatives traders on the SGX use the Titan trading engine developed by NASDAQ-OMX and built on its Genium INET version 4 platform. This platform also offers high speed and reliability and can support a range of functions including order sending, market feed, quotations and drop copies of transactions. Traders can purchase one of two Titan access plans depending on their needs:

    1. Titan DT API provides access to the Titan DT trading engine using a proprietary application interface on the Genium trading platform. Trading participants can choose access speeds ranging from 10 to 50 transactions per second. Traders can access this service via one of four ways (see below).
    2. Titan DT OUCH/ITCH offers faster trading speeds and lower latency. This connection gives traders access to the market through a proprietary application interface.

    SGX offers four options for connecting to its trading engines:

    1. SGX’s Managed Network Service: SGX can procure, configure and manage connectivity for its customers
    2. Co-Location Service: SGX offers three tiers of service for colocation or proximity hosting to SGX markets. High-frequency traders would most likely require these services.
    3. Liquidity Hubs: SGX offers a connection to its market engines through a variety of global Points of Presence (PoPs).
    4. Approved Network Service Providers: SGX works with approved Independent Software Vendor Platforms (ISVs) that can offer a connection to the exchange.

    SGX Managed Network Services

    What Type of Memberships Are On Offer?

    SGX offers different types of memberships for both securities and derivatives traders:

    Securities Membership Options

    Membership CategoryDescription
    Trading MemberMarket participants who choose to offer specialist equities execution-only services can become a Trading Member.

    Trading Membership requirements:
  • Qualified by a member of the Central Depository (“CDP”) at all times
  • Maintain a minimum base capital of S$1million
  • Hold a Capital Markets Services License (if operating within Singapore)

  • Remote Trading Member requirements:
  • Comply with SGX capital and financial requirements
  • Be appropriately licensed in home jurisdiction
  • Clearing MemberClearing Members have clearing rights. Their role is to act as a third party clearer for Trading Members and themselves (if they have trading rights).

    Clearing Member requirements:
  • Maintain a minimum base capital of S$5 million
  • Hold a Capital Markets Service License
  • Trading and Clearing MemberClearing and Trading members must meet the following requirements:
  • Maintain a minimum base capital of S$5 million
  • Hold a Capital Markets Service License
  • Derivatives Membership Options

    Membership CategoryDescription
    Trading MemberA Trading Member can hold customer accounts and monies and has to clear its trades through a Clearing Member. Trading Members can be located offshore.

    Trading Membership requirements:
  • Maintain a minimum base capital of S$1million
  • Hold a Capital Markets Services License (if operating within Singapore)

  • Remote Trading Member requirements:
  • Comply with SGX capital and financial requirements
  • Be appropriately licensed in home jurisdiction
  • Clearing MemberClearing Member requirements:
  • Maintain a minimum base capital of S$5 million
  • Hold a Capital Markets Service License
  • Remote applicants can apply to clear AsiaClear products
  • Trading Member (Proprietary)A Trading Member (Proprietary) trades solely for its own account and or for the proprietary account(s) of its related/associated corporations.

    Trading Member (Proprietary) can be based offshore, and there are no licensing or base capital requirements for Trading Member (Proprietary).

    Trading Member (Proprietary) has to appoint a Clearing Member to clear its trades.

    Traders can consult the membership section of the SGX website for more details and application forms.

    What Are the SGX Margin Requirements?

    The CDP requires collateral from participants to protect against the possibility of a Clearing Member defaulting on an obligation. The amount of collateral required depends on several factors.

    CDP uses two cut-off times (* snapshots are taken at 11:30 am and market close. Margin calls will be issued by 2.30pm and 6.00am (the following day) respectively) to determine margin for client portfolios. It then calculates Maintenance Margin (MM) and Variation Margins (VM) for each portfolio.

    Factors including market volatility and traded value of the portfolio can impact margin.

    Maintenance margin: After posting initial margin, a market participant is required to keep up maintenance margin, which is the amount of equity required to retain an open position. Maintenance margin covers potential risk to a confidence interval of at least 99%.

    Variation margin: This is the payment of additional funds that may be deemed necessary when the account balance falls below the maintenance margin or initial margin requirement.

    Traders should consult the CDP Clearing Rule Practice Note 6A.5.2 Calculation of Amount of Clearing Member Required Margins for further details.

    What Are the Fees and Charges?

    Securities traders at SGX pay the following transaction fees excluding structured warrants:

    Membership CategoryDescription
    Trading Fee0.0075% of traded value
    Clearing Fee0.0325% of traded value
    Goods and Services TaxPrevailing GST rate

    Trading fees for structured warrants are 0.001% of traded value, while clearing fees for those products are 0.004% of traded value.

    Fees for derivatives vary by contract type. Traders should consult the clearing schedule on the SGX website for more details.

    What Market Data Does SGX Make Available?

    SGX provides a variety of market data and news feed options for its customers:

    ServiceDescriptionTarget Audience
    Securities Market Direct FeedReal-time price information directly from securities trading engine.
  • Information vendors
  • Institutions
  • Trading firms
  • ISVs
  • Derivatives Market Direct FeedReal-time price information on all SGX futures and options contracts direct from the trading engine.
  • Information vendors
  • Institutions
  • Trading firms
  • ISVs
  • Post-Trade Data FeedService for viewing and managing trade orders independent of main trade access.
  • Clearing Members
  • Back Office
  • SGX NewsReal-time corporate statements and action announcements.
  • Information vendors
  • Institutions
  • Trading firms
  • ISVs
  • Historical and Reference DataDaily, weekly, monthly and yearly historical data including:
  • Prices
  • Turnover
  • Market capitalization
  • Trade execution
  • Researchers
  • Academics
  • Fund Managers
  • Consultants

  • Traders should consult the SGX market data section of the website for policies and fees regarding data usage.

    What Educational Materials Does SGX Offer?

    SGX operates SGX Academy, which provides investor education and training to traders of all skill levels.

    SGX Academy


    Traders can search this section of the site by course level, date, prices and course category. Categories include in-person seminars and courses held in Singapore, E-training and live events held with SGX partners.

    Topics cover every aspect of trading and investing. E-courses offered through SGX Academy include the following:

    1. Business and Market Cycles
    2. What Moves the Market?
    3. Economic Indicators
    4. Diversifying Your Portfolio
    5. The Math Behind Trading
    6. How to Place Orders
    7. Reading Annual Reports
    8. Benefits of Exchange Traded Funds
    9. Financial Ratio Shortcuts

    SGX / CBOE Partnership

    SGX has a partnership with the Chicago Board of Options Exchange (CBOE), which is one of the leading options exchanges in the world, to offer options education e-courses. These courses are designed for all skill levels of trading and allow students to learn at their own pace. Traders can consult the CBOE Options Institute at SGX for more details.


    SGX periodically holds live webinars for its trading community. Webinar speakers are experts in their fields and offer structured lessons on topics of interest to market participants. Traders can get more information at the SGX Academy website.

    Does the Singapore Exchange Have Vendor Partners?

    SGX works with many outside vendors that supplement the trading and clearing experience. The following vendors provide data for the securities and/or derivatives markets at SGX:

    • ACTIV Financial Systems Inc
    • Apex International Financial
    • Blashnet Co Ltd
    • Bloomberg Finance L.P.
    • Capital IQ, Inc
    • Capital Master Pte Ltd
    • CarryQuote AG
    • CQG Singapore Pte Ltd
    • eDaily Co Ltd
    • FactSet Research Systems Inc
    • Fidessa PLCFMR, LLC
    • GlobalView Software Inc
    • HiThink Flush Information Network Co Ltd
    • Imagine Software Inc
    • Interactive Brokers LLC
    • Interactive Data Real Time Services
    • Investment Technology Group Inc
    • IRESS Data Pty Ltd
    • Jiji Press Ltd
    • LiquidNet Asia Ltd
    • Market Data Ltd
    • MarketPrizm Ltd
    • MarketSource International Pty Ltd
    • MorningStar Real-Time Data Ltd
    • N2N Connect Pte Ltd
    • NextVIEW Pte Ltd
    • OptionsXpress Inc
    • QuantHouse SAS
    • Quick Corp Ltd
    • Shanghai DZH Limited
    • Singapore Press Holdings Pte Ltd
    • SIX Financial Information Ltd
    • SunGard Financial Systems (France) SAS
    • Sysjust Corporation Ltd
    • Systex Corporation
    • Telvent DTN Inc
    • TD Direct Investing (Europe) Ltd
    • Thomson Reuters Asia Pte Ltd
    • VWD Vereinigte Wirtschaftsdien AG
    • Yonhap Informax Inc

    The following ISVs has been tested and approved by SGX for providing order management solutions:

    Vendor Website
    Cornet Research
    Cornet Logo
    Fidessa Group PLC
    FIS Logo
    Flextrade Systems
    Flextrade Logo
    Genpact Logo
    Fusion Systems Ltd
    Fusion Systems Logo
    Iress Logo
    N2N Connect
    N2N Connect Logo
    Itiviti Group AB
    Itiviti Group AB Logo
    RTS Realtime Systems
    RTS Logo
    Snap Innovations
    Snap Innovation Logo
    DZH International
    DZH International Logo
    Tata Consultancy Services
    Tata Consultancy Services Logo
    Ullink Logo

    Further Reading

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