and Singapore Exchange Ltd. (SGX) agreed Wednesday to cooperate on the launch of Middle East crude oil futures on SGX, TOCOM and SGX officials said.

The exchanges plan to launch the futures on SGX as early as September, making SGX the second market in Asia to handle the futures, the officials said. TOCOM became the first when it listed the futures in September.

The move will allow the two exchanges to swap contracts, thereby deepening the contracts’ liquidity and margin efficiency for market participants.

“We believe that the liquidity in TOCOM’s oil derivatives contracts, together with the participation of international oil refiners and traders based in Singapore and the Asia-Pacific region, will create the right synergies for our partnership,” said Thomas Kloet, SGX chief executive officer.

According to TOCOM officials, SGX asked TOCOM to cooperate on the launch of the futures because Asian economies have seen sharp fluctuations in crude oil prices since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States.

The futures contract on SGX will be denominated in dollars per barrel, and futures will be quoted at average prices for oil produced in Dubai and Oman, the same gauge used at TOCOM.

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