HKEx opens stronger and faster computing centre

PUBLISHED : Friday, 01 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 01 February, 2013, 5:23am

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing kicked off operations at its HK$1.5 billion data centre in Tseung Kwan O yesterday.

The centre is a step in HKEx's HK$3 billion upgrading of its technology to compete with challenges from other global exchanges and to weather external shocks.

HKEx chairman Chow Chung-kong said the new data centre should lift overall trading service levels in the areas of clearing and data processing, as well as turnover.

The centre aimed to boost the exchange's technological infrastructure and its competitiveness; it was not purely for high-frequency trading, said HKEx chief executive Charles Li Xiaojia.

The exchange operator has increased the trading system's processing capacity by about tenfold to 30,000 orders per second, scalable to 150,000 orders per second, and latency - the delay between an order's input and output - has been cut to two milliseconds on an average trading day, about 70 times faster than before.

Bill Chow, HKEx's chief technology officer, said the aim of the new platform was to increase capacity to be able to process up to 200,000 orders per second with lower latency. At present, 100 large and small brokers are evenly spread in the new centre, which can house up to 1,200.

DBS Vickers analyst Alexander Lee said the new data infrastructure should have limited impact on HKEx's revenue and net profit in the short term, as Hong Kong stock trading was determined by external money inflows and turnover in blue-chip companies.

In the improving trading environment, Lee forecast HKEx's revenue to rebound to HK$9.8 billion this year, from an expected HK$6.4 billion last year.