Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing has hired electronic trading system operator Chi-X Japan's representative director Joseph Meyer as its chief administrative officer. This move has led brokers to speculate the local bourse may consider launch its own version of the so-called 'dark pool'. Dark pools, which are popular in the United States and Europe, allows investors to trade large blocks of stocks via an electronic trading platform without disclosing their identities, price or volume. Kenny Lee Yiu-sun, chief executive of First China Securities, believes the HKEx may want to follow Singapore Exchange, which in November teamed up with a dark-pool operator, Chi-X Global, to launch the first exchange-backed dark pool, Chi-East, to trade Singapore, Hong Kong, Japanese and Australian shares. 'The new appointment may reflect the fact that HKEx wants to consider stepping into dark pool operations,'' he said. At Chi-X Japan, Meyer was responsible for the launch of an alternative trading system for trading listed equity securities in Japan. Traditional exchanges worldwide have been building faster networks in response to competition from alternative platforms such as dark pools and other electronic channels which are eroding their turnover. However, local laws require that any dark pool in Hong Kong must be a member of the exchange, so competition pressure is less severe here. Meyer, who has 30 years of experience in the financial industry, is expected to start working at the HKEx in late June. HKEx chief executive Charles Li Xiaojia said Meyer would oversee several major projects at the exchange including introducing the clearing of derivatives products traded in Hong Kong's over-the-counter market, a move which is aimed at reducing market risk. Meyer will also be responsible for upgrading the exchange's IT system and to complete the next generation data centre.