UBS Warburg plans to soon expand its foreign exchange options trading Web site to include pricing and trading exotic options, said Ed Hulina, head of marketing for fx in London. "Now it's able to trade standard options but it will be soon able to trade basic knockouts and knock-ins," he said. Investors can now use the tool, dubbed the FX Options Trader, to calculate prices and place trades in vanilla options through the firm's Web site. UBS is expanding the variables that can be incorporated in the trading portal now because of client demand and as more business is shifted toward the portal. This allows UBS to concentrate its sales force on more complex structured products, according to Hulina.
The price-and-trade application was first made available to investors late last year and Hulina estimated roughly 15-20% of the firm's options ticket volume is now conducted entirely electronically. Hulina noted on the cash side that number is roughly 50%, and though he acknowledged the options market is more complicated, he said the firm hopes that by adding features to the system it can increase its proportion of electronically conducted options trades. He said: "Options are definitely behind spot, but it is the wave of the future."