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News

3 Jun 2024

Pioneering Virtual Container Freight Futures Trading Competition: An Exclusive Interview with BANDS Financial and Linerlytica

BANDS Financial and Linerlytica launch the first virtual container freight futures trading competition exclusively for companies and executives in the container shipping sector along the Asia-Europe route.

In an interview with Antonis Karamalegkos, Managing Editor of Container News, Johnson Leung, Director of Linerlytica, and Tiger Shi, CEO of BANDS Financial, discussed the competitive landscape, future project plans, and the goals driving this initiative.
3 Jun 2024

BANDS Cup Container Freight Futures Trading Competition Launched

Futures have long been used as risk management tools in other markets ranging from iron ore to bulk freight. As the container freight futures market is developing, trading opportunities are emerging for both industrial and financial investors.

On 3 June, BANDS Financial and Linerlytica launched the first virtual container freight futures trading competition. Participants will have the opportunity to trade in a simulated market reflecting the actual Shanghai International Energy Exchange (INE) marketplace and gain experience trading container freight futures.

The competition is open to 20 companies and 200 individuals in separate company and individual leagues. Contestants receive virtual money to trade CoFIF, container freight index futures listed on the INE since August 2023.

Read more on our event page or take a look at some frequently asked questions.

Sign up here.
22 May 2024

Container Freight Futures: Opportunities amidst Volatility

Freight rates are inherently volatile. The Red Sea crisis continues to drive global container freight rates higher as additional capacity is deployed on the longer Asia-Europe route around the Cape of Good Hope.

Futures have long been used as risk management tools in other markets ranging from iron ore to bulk freight. As the container freight futures market is developing, trading opportunities are emerging for both industrial and financial investors.

BANDS partnered with Linerlytica and Braemar to host a webinar introducing container freight futures, the latest market developments and cross-market arbitrage trading opportunities.

It was a pleasure to have Peter Stallion and Johnson Leung join us yesterday for our first container freight webinar.

We would also like to thank everyone who joined, we are grateful for the many questions we received during the Q&A session and we look forward to exploring this topic further in the future.

For anyone who missed the webinar, you can find the recording here.

The slides are available for download below:

1 May 2024

Press Release: BANDS Financial Launches Container Freight Futures Trading Competition

Hong Kong, 1 May 2024 - BANDS Financial and Linerlytica launch the first virtual container freight futures trading competition exclusively for companies and executives involved in container shipping's Asia-Europe route.

The competition is open to 20 companies and 200 individuals in separate company and individual leagues. Contestants receive virtual money to trade CoFIF, and the 3 contestants from each league with the highest equity at the end of the 6-month competition period will win the 2024 BANDS Cup. CoFIF are container freight index futures listed on the International Energy Exchange in Shanghai since August 2023.

Tiger Shi, CEO of BANDS Financial, has witnessed how the adoption of futures paved the way for new ways of managing volatile prices across a number of different industries. He believes that, while widespread industry adoption of container freight futures may take time, a virtual competition coupled with training seminars is the best way for first movers to gain futures market experience without incurring any financial risk. "Trading is a combination of knowing the underlying product, understanding the rules, and utilising the efficiency of one market to protect against the inefficiency and uncertainty of the other market. Container freight futures provide an opportunity for industrial users to lock in prices without counterparty risk, make their cash flows more predictable and protect against price shocks in the spot market. Ultimately, the companies that gain access to the futures market the earliest will benefit the most."

Johnson Leung, co-founder of Linerlytica, whose career spanned both the container shipping industry and capital markets, believes the competition is a good training ground for companies and individuals without prior exposure to futures trading. "Unlike other freight futures products in the market, the CoFIF contract is digitally traded, so the user experience is similar to trading stocks on a mobile app. However, the fixed settlement date of futures contracts, short-selling tactics, use of margin, etc., make futures trading different from stock trading. Everyone will go through their own learning curve. And six months is an adequate period for events happening in the physical market to test everyone's trading book."

Further information about the 2024 BANDS Cup:

1. Event page

2. Terms and conditions

3. Sign up here

About BANDS Financial: BANDS Financial is a futures broker regulated by the SFC in Hong Kong and a leading Overseas Special Brokerage Participant of the International Energy Exchange, the exchange on which CoFIF contracts are traded. BANDS Financial provides trading access to commodity and financial futures across a wide range of international markets.

About Linerlytica: Linerlytica is a Singapore-registered company that uses data-driven intelligence to solve the information asymmetry problem in the container shipping industry.

Enquiry: bands-cup-2024@bandsfinancial.com
26 Apr 2024

Win-Win Cooperation as the Shanghai Shipping Exchange Visits BANDS Financial

It was our great pleasure to welcome Gu Yunfeng, Chen Mei and Dr Yu Bin of the Shanghai Shipping Exchange at our office in Hong Kong today.

Together with Johnson Leung from Linerlytica, we discussed our work to expand access to container freight futures to the international industry.

As a widely recognised shipping information and index provider, the Shanghai Shipping Exchange (SSE) is committed to promoting policy research, information sharing and the healthy development of the shipping industry. As the index compiler for the INE's Shanghai-North Europe Container Freight Index futures (CoFIF) contract, this visit supports the communication and cooperation between the SSE, BANDS and Linerlytica and helps us explore more ways to promote the industry's broader interest in and use of the SSE's data and services as well as the INE CoFIF contracts.

With the first settlement date of the INE CoFIF contract approaching, we're excited about how container freight futures can help solve common industry pain points like information asymmetry, counterparty risk and freight rate volatility, especially in these times of heightened geopolitical risks.
24 Apr 2024

BANDS Financial and Dunhe Asset Management Host Joint Copper Industry Seminar in Hangzhou

BANDS Financial and Dunhe Asset Management hosted a copper seminar in scenic Hangzhou, bringing together representatives from the Chinese and international copper, base metals and financial industry.

The event served as a forum to exchange views on the current market, supply and demand dynamics and the road ahead for the industry amidst geopolitical uncertainty and the challenge of achieving the transition to a greener economy.

Thank you to everyone for making the event such a great success! We would especially like to express our sincere gratitude to Shi Jianjun, Chairman of Dunhe Asset Management, Ni Shounan of the Yuhuang Shanan Fund Town and, of course, Kevin Nutt and Liu Yang of the LME for coming all the way from London!
20 Mar 2024

INE Freight Futures Trading Volume Picks Up, Prices Rise As Margins And Trading Limits Are Rolled Back

As of March 20, 2024, the INE will reduce trading margins and price limits for the contracts listed below:

The trading margins of the EC2406, EC2408, EC2410 and EC2412 futures contracts will be lowered 4% from 22% to 18% of the contract value and the price limit will be ±16% from the settlement price of that day.

Meanwhile, daily new position limits for speculative traders have been doubled, leading to a strong pickup in trading volume from just under 20,000 lots per day across all contracts to over 50,000 as tensions in the Red Sea remain high and the latest export figures from China surprise on the upside.
28 Nov 2023

BANDS Financial receives the SGX Top FX Derivatives Broker Award at the SGX FX Derivatives 10th Year Anniversary Awards

BANDS Financial was named one of the SGX Top FX Derivatives Brokers at the SGX FX Derivatives 10th Year Anniversary Awards. With over USD 10 trillion aggregated notional traded since the first 6 currency futures were launched in 2013, SGX FX derivatives truly have come a long way: Today, there are nearly 40 futures contracts available, and ADV topped USD 100 billion for the first time in June this year, while trading volume reached an all-time high of 4.1 million contracts this September.

At BANDS, our strength lies in connecting the Chinese and international markets, so naturally, currency futures play a significant role in enabling our clients to hedge their exposure against exchange rate fluctuations. The SGX USD/CNH (UC) contract, in particular, has thus become a key part of the cross-border arbitrage trading toolbox we provide to our clients at BANDS.

Congratulations to SGX Group for 10 years of continuous progress and growth, and thank you for recognising BANDS Financial's contributions to the development of this market. And here's to the next 10 years together!
14 Nov 2023

BANDS Asia Copper Week Cocktail Reception held in Shanghai

It was great to once again return to Shanghai to host our BANDS Cocktail Reception during Asia Copper Week. Bringing together over 200 copper industry representatives for an amazing evening, the reception was packed with long-time friends and partners from China and across the globe coming together to exchange views and share their insights.

We’d like to thank everyone who joined us in Shanghai for making this evening such a success and we hope to see you again next year!
5 Sep 2023

John Browning Speaks at APPEC 2023 - Will we see the launch of an alternative trading system led by China and Russia?

The recent BRICS summit once again ignited speculation around a common BRICS currency to replace the USD. Although nothing was announced in Johannesburg, there are signs that China is working on an alternative infrastructure, if not an outright substitute, for the current USD-centric trading system. Alongside infrastructural developments, the internationalisation of China's commodity markets is creating RMB-denominated pricing venues in China that can already be accessed by international investors.

John Browning joined a fireside chat at APPEC to discuss whether we will see the launch of an alternative trading system led by China and Russia.
22 Aug 2023

Industrial enterprises actively participate in the INE container shipping index futures market

Tiger Shi, founder of BANDS Financial, told reporters that the shipping market is huge and involves a wide range of areas. At the same time, the sharp fluctuations in freight rates have also brought troubles to many participants, including frequent breaches of contracts, which have caused significant losses. Although relevant derivatives have been launched in the international market, market participation is not particularly active.

Fortunately, he said that the INE container shipping index (European line) futures achieved a very impressive performance on the first day of listing. The transaction volume on the first day exceeded 16.56 billion yuan, equivalent to more than 2.2 billion US dollars, and essentially the same as one month's spot market volume for the FE-NEUR (Far East to Northern Europe) route. This shows that the market has great enthusiasm and demand for participation, but market cultivation and growth also need to be given a certain amount of time.

BANDS Financial will devote itself to the cultivation of overseas customers and the promotion of the contract, helping the shipping futures market to lay a solid foundation for steady and long-term growth.
16 Aug 2023

BANDS Makes it into the INE Top 20 Brokers List as First Overseas Exchange Member

For the first time in the history of the Chinese futures market, an international futures broker made it into the top 20 of a Chinese domestic exchange's trading volume and open interest rankings!

BANDS Financial is an Overseas Special Broker Participant (OSBP) of the INE. As an OSBP, BANDS has its own seat in the exchange and participates in the electronic trading environment of the INE in its own name. The Chinese exchanges compile their turnover and open interest rankings each day and break the daily figures down by individual trading members. They then publish the top 20 brokers per contract each day and rank them.

To our pleasant surprise, the INE rankings have had BANDS appearing in this ranking for the last few weeks. Only incorporated in Hong Kong in 2015 and actively serving clients since early 2016, BANDS is an overseas broker in a pool of over 150 mainland firms, and we find ourselves ranked above 20 on some days. As the only overseas member active in this environment, BANDS is thus executing more trades than the majority of mainland brokers.

We are honoured to be in this position, serving clients from across the globe and providing trading access to all the major futures markets, both in China and internationally.
11 Aug 2023

China pushes to dominate trading in clean energy metals

Beijing aims to wrest benchmark contracts for minerals such as lithium carbonate away from the west

“China certainly wants to be a pricing power for all these markets,” said Tiger Shi, chief executive of Hong Kong-based broker Bands Financial. “It will take time, but that’s going to be the direction.”

“The most important thing, the first big step, is you need to grant access to global players to make your contract widely used as a pricing benchmark,” said Shi, at Bands. “And if possible, certainly a global warehousing and delivery system will help.”
22 Jun 2023

Tiger Shi Speaks at the 62nd FARO Club Main Meeting

BANDS Financial Limited CEO Tiger Shi was invited to speak at the 62nd FARO Club Main Meeting in Brescia, Italy, this week. Discussing the outlook for industrial metals from a Chinese macro-perspective, Tiger also had the chance to engage in lively discussions with leaders in the Italian metals industry.

After years of Covid-induced travel restrictions, it was an excellent opportunity to bring together both European and Chinese perspectives, exchange views and share thoughts about the way forward amidst the many challenges facing the world today, from climate change to rising geopolitical tensions.

It also shows the importance of people-to-people exchanges to gain a better understanding of global issues and learn from each other, and it was a great pleasure to have had the chance to participate in this year’s meeting.
25 May 2023

BANDS Financial wins INE Outstanding Market Contribution Award for third consecutive year

BANDS Financial was awarded the INE Outstanding Market Contribution Award for the third consecutive year and as the only Overseas Special Brokerage Participant at the 20th Shanghai Derivatives Market Forum, held by the Shanghai Futures Exchange on May 25-26.

Held annually since 2004, Shanghai Derivatives Market Forum brings together industry participants, exchanges and experts and serves as a forum for the development of the Chinese futures market. From the beginning, the focus has been on building an internationally competitive marketplace for price discovery and risk management in China and on connecting it with the world.

Key to achieving this goal was the creation of the Overseas Intermediary mechanism and the addition of the Overseas Special Brokerage Participant mechanism in 2021 to expand market access to international investors. The range of internationally tradeable futures and options has since grown to comprise 23 contracts across three commodity exchanges, with a new Containerized Freight Index futures contract about to be launched by the INE in the coming weeks.

BANDS Financial has been part of the opening up of the Chinese futures market from the very beginning, and we look forward to continuing our close cooperation with SHFE and INE.
15 May 2023

BANDS Hong Kong Dinner 2023

The BANDS Hong Kong Dinner is back again this year as part of the LME Asia Week 2023. The event gathered industry leaders and experts from around the world under the banner of 和, which, in a single character, represents peace, harmony and the idea that cooperation comes not from a state of uniformity but from the choice to overcome our differences.
16 Mar 2023

LME nickel stocks low, return to Asian trading hours unlikely to spur recovery

The LME trading costs are keeping potential nickel contract users out of the market, and have significantly reduced trading liquidity," Browning said, suggesting the LME "take more proactive steps to communicate how it has addressed past problems. How it will reduce the current excessive over-margination and how it will engage the market with how it plans to deal with a changing physical nickel market which is shifting to alternative grades."
11 Nov 2022

INE Shanghai: Dialogue in Futures

John Browning was invited to participate in the Shanghai International Energy Exchange's Dialogue in Futures video series and provide his insights about the internationalisation of the Chinese futures market and his experience of working with the INE.
20 Sep 2022

BANDS Financial wins Best Non-Bank FCM at the Asia Capital Markets Awards 2022

On 20 September in Singapore, BANDS Financial was recognised as the Best Non-Bank FCM as part of the Asia Capital Markets Awards 2022.
Organised by Global Investor Group/FOW, the awards ceremony “recognises outperformance, innovation and achievement for firms and individuals involved in the Asian capital markets” and is judged by a panel of experienced market professionals.
Tiger Shi, Co-Founder and Managing Director, commented, “For us, this marks another significant waypoint in the journey of our company. We would like to thank the BANDS team, who, with their belief, hard work and professionalism, have taken BANDS to new heights. And, of course, we would also like to thank our increasing number of clients for putting their trust in us as we continually strive to deliver global market access and first-rate customer service.”
12 Jul 2022

LME Asia Metals Seminar 2022

Tiger Shi, CEO of BANDS Financial, will join Matthew Chamberlain, CEO of the LME, for a Fireside Chat on 12 July to discuss key issues facing the global metals community today, such as how the global commodities industry will fare amid ongoing pandemic-induced disruptions, increased market volatility and geopolitical tensions.
4 Apr 2022

Day drinking, 'Big Shot' and billions of dollars: How the nickel market imploded

"The LME was ill-informed as to the size of the positions in the market, and they didn't know it was all concentrated in one hand," said Browning. "The LME didn't know that there was one company sitting on the other side of this with a 150,000-ton short."
17 Mar 2022

Nickel crisis won't have 'contagion effect' on trading of other base metals: Financial services firm

John Browning of BANDS Financial discusses the London Metal Exchange's suspension of nickel trading and says it has created a "crisis of confidence" around it.
14 Dec 2021

INE & SMM Copper Webinar: Trading Opportunities & Future Outlook

John Browning, Managing Director of BANDS Financial, will explain how international investors can trade Chinese commodity futures in a webinar hosted by the Shanghai International Energy Exchange (INE) and Shanghai Metals Market (SMM). Join us at 16:00 (China, 08:00 UK) to learn more about the opportunities and outlook of the Chinese and international coper markets in 2021.
12 Oct 2021

Announcement of the Operational Implementation of our Overseas Special Brokerage Participant (OSBP) Membership of the INE

BANDS Financial is pleased to announce the operational implementation of its Overseas Special Brokerage Participant (OSBP) membership of the Shanghai International Energy Exchange (INE). In doing so, BANDS Financial is the first foreign authorised futures broker to trade directly within a mainland futures exchange for its overseas clients.
16 Sep 2021

BI Briefing: Metals & Mining: China, Change, Challenge and Opportunity

China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology is exploring a steel output limit mechanism to control carbon emissions, pollution and energy consumption. Meanwhile, China's State Reserve Bureau has announced plans to release reserves of key metals to cool down the market.
Join Bloomberg Intelligence, BANDS Financial and a panel of industry experts for a webinar, as they discuss how these new policies will impact the metals market and share their short- and long-term outlooks.
8-9 Sep 2021

FOW Asia - Commodities: An Inflation Hedge Amid Decarbonization?

Returning on 8-9 September 2021, FOW Asia is the premier event allowing you to gain insights into derivatives trading and investment in the Asia Pacific region. Join John Browning, managing director of BANDS Financial, on 8 September for a panel discussion on commodities, their price drivers and their role as investment tools in an inflationary environment amidst a global drive to reduce carbon emissions. Watch the recording below.
7 Sep 2021

Announcement: TT Completes Functionality for Chinese Futures Exchanges

TT has completed the development of their Autospreader and implemented the open/close tag functionality required for trading Chinese commodity futures. This makes TT the first trading platform outside of China to offer this feature and will allow their international user base to trade Chinese futures contracts such as crude oil, bonded copper and iron ore.
21 Jun 2021

China launches crude oil options open to foreign traders

China's first energy options open to foreign traders made their Shanghai International EnergyExchange (INE) debut on Monday with the new crude oil contract achieving only muted volumes. "I do see keen market interest," said Tiger Shi, managing director of broker Bands Financial, pointing to potential arbitrage opportunities between exchanges.
15 Apr 2021

Webinar: Copper Market Update - Tracing the Global Economic Recovery Path and the Impact of Policy Change

BANDS Financial, Horizon Insights and the London Metal Exchange are coming together to provide a webinar on copper market dynamics for Chinese and international markets. We'll be discussing what's driving copper prices, the global economic recovery path and the impact of policy change on copper - as well as how international clients are accessing Chinese markets.
18 Mar 2021

China’s markets are shaking off their casino reputation

In a world where internet memes can explain market swings, China is second to none. Early in March, with mainland equities down by 15% in two weeks—their steepest fall in years—a video circulated on Weibo, a microblogging site, of a sheep stuck in a fence on a hill and a hiker climbing up to free it. The description of the video, in its meme incarnation, was “the national team comes to rescue me”. The national team is shorthand for big state firms that are believed to stabilise the market by buying shares when they plunge.
3 Mar 2021

Webinar: Trading the Chinese Commodity Markets, What, Why and How

Many investors are interested in arbitrage strategies combining the mainland commodity markets in Shanghai (INE), Dalian (DCE) and Zhengzhou (ZCE) with the SGX and other international marketplaces etc. Have you been looking at trading China, but have more questions than answers? Please join SGX and BANDS Financial for a webinar to discuss the What, Why and How.
27 Nov 2020

“Things have changed” in China – broker

China’s latest move to open up to foreign firms, the introduction of international copper and reports of a deal to deliver Chinese fuel oil in Singapore suggest “things have changed” in the world’s second largest economy, a Chinese based broker has said. John Browning, managing director of BANDS Financial, a broker based in Hong Kong, said in a note on Friday that China’s gradual process of opening up to the international trading and commodities community has stepped up in recent weeks.
23 Nov 2020

China's INE contract launch kicks off new era for global copper trade

After much anticipation and debate, the International Energy Exchange's bonded copper futures contract launched on Thursday November 19 to some fanfare and respectable volume. A total of 8,344 lots traded on the INE's 'BC' contract on Thursday, following up with another 4,893 on Friday, the majority for delivery in March.
19 Nov 2020

Shanghai copper set to be Asian benchmark - broker

Bands Financial, a commodity and financial futures broker based in Hong Kong, says it has seen huge interest in the Shanghai International Energy Exchange’s international copper futures contract on the first day of trading. “Interest in the contract has been huge. China is the largest consumer of copper, and access to the domestic Chinese copper market is in a sense access to the Chinese dynamic,” managing director John Browning told Global Investor after the close in Shanghai.
19 Nov 2020

China's new international copper futures slip on debut

China’s much anticipated bonded copper futures, which are open to overseas investors, fell more than 1% on their debut on Thursday, with trading volumes only reaching one-ninth those of the country’s established domestic copper contract.
18 Nov 2020

China aims for more sway over copper prices with futures launch

Shanghai is launching a challenge to London’s dominance in metals trading by issuing a new futures contract for copper that analysts say has the potential to become a global benchmark.
17 Nov 2020

China will roll out new copper futures in a bid to boost yuan adoption, pricing power

China will roll out a new copper futures contract this week that will be open to foreign traders, in a push to boost yuan adoption and wrest some pricing power away from the established industry benchmark in London.
17 Nov 2020

China's new copper futures add another card to global yuan deck

China will roll out a new copper futures contract this week that will be open to foreign traders, in a push to boost yuan adoption and wrest some pricing power away from the established industry benchmark in London.
16 Nov 2020

China Wants a Made-in-China Copper Price

The country’s latest international futures contract has timing and structure on its side. China’s next move to open up its commodities markets may be a step change.
5 Nov 2020

BANDS & INE Bonded Copper Webinar

In preparation for the launch of the new contract, the INE and BANDS Financial hosted a joint webinar in English specifically to deliver everything you need to know about how to access and trade Shanghai INE Bonded Copper. The presentation is aimed at those western traders who are interested in the opportunity to trade inside China, perhaps for the first time.
1 Apr 2020

Risk-hedging Chinese investors push commodities markets to record high trades

Trading activity on China’s commodities markets is skyrocketing as investors increasingly hedge risks, pushing open interest and trading volumes in the futures markets to record and multi-year highs in March following the coronavirus outbreak and volatile global commodity prices.
26 Feb 2019

China's Dalian exchange to allow foreign individuals to trade iron ore futures

China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange said on Tuesday it would allow individual foreign investors to trade iron ore futures on the bourse starting from Wednesday, widening access to the market in the world’s biggest consumer of the steelmaking raw material.
9 May 2017

Broker BANDS eyes China crude, iron ore potential

Hong Kong broker BANDS Financial is eyeing opportunities in iron ore and crude oil markets even as the outlook for base metals appears subdued for the rest of 2017, its senior executives said.
16 May 2016

Bands Financial sees opportunities as Chinese investors enter the futures market

Hong Kong-based brokerage firm Bands Financial, set up by John Browning and Tiger Shi, is on track to open its Shanghai office in the third quarter of 2016 as it sees tremendous interest in world markets from the mainland.