NBU seeks to create market makers institute on interbank currency market

NBU seeks to create market makers institute on interbank currency marketThe National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) is mulling the introduction of the market makers as part of boosting liquidity and depth of the interbank currency market (Forex), Deputy NBU Governor Oleh Churiy has said.

"A group of banks with the largest turnover that would have more flexible limits would be created," he said at the Ukrainian Financial Forum organised by ICU Investment Group in Odesa on September 29 and September 30.

"Today due to administrative restrictions the forex market is shallow and not very liquid. The NBU fulfils the function of buyer and seller of the last instance. We have switched to the floating exchange rate, and our top priority is to help the market to be deeper and more liquid," he said.

He told that if the NBU manages to create this liquid market, the NBU would carry out interventions on it through market makers who will resell the currency on the market. Churiy added that today up to 40-50 banks participate in currency auctions, including with small-sum applications. The operation work with them is ineffective for the central bank.

"We do not earn money. We [carry out interventions] from the point of influencing the market. We can influence it via several large banks," he said.

Churiy said that market makers will be selected using open and transparent criteria, for example, taking into account the volume of trading. These criteria will be additionally discussed with market players before they are approved.

He said that it is early to name the terms for the introduction of market makers. It depends on the appearance of conditions for further currency liberalisations.

He found it difficult to say how many banks could be market makers.

"The question is not how many can, but it is important to have a desire to become [market makers]. They will undertake some liabilities. I am not sure that many banks want this. We have rather passive banks," he said.

Comparing the possible future institute of market makers on the Forex market with the institute of market makers on the domestic loan bonds market launched by the Finance Ministry many years ago, Churiy agreed that the latter is working not as effectively as the ministry expected.

"By contrast with the domestic loan bonds market the currency market is more liquid," he said.
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