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Singapore says ready to assist in global FX manipulation probe

Thursday, 24 Oct 2013 | 5:28 AM ET

SINGAPORE, Oct 24 (Reuters) - The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said on Thursday it has been in touch with foreign regulators looking into the alleged manipulation of foreign exchange rates, and was ready to assist in investigations.

The Asian central bank is the latest authority to get involved in a global probe into whether traders in the $5.3 trillion-a-day market sought to manipulate benchmark foreign currency rates.

"MAS has been in touch with foreign regulators on the issue of alleged manipulation in the WM/Reuters foreign exchange benchmark rates. We stand ready to assist in their investigations," the Singapore central bank said in a statement.

Singapore is the world's third largest foreign exchange trading centre after London and New York, according to data from the Bank for International Settlements.

Several media reports have suggested that foreign exchange traders manipulated fixings - snapshots of where currencies are trading at a particular time in the market, and which are used to price trillions of dollars worth of investments.

Regulators in Switzerland, Britain and the United States are making inquiries about whether these traders used advance knowledge of client orders and each others' trading positions to rig foreign exchange fixings in their favour.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority was the first regulator in Asia to confirm its involvement in the probe, saying last week it had spoken to foreign regulators about the issue and was following up with individual banks.

The WM/Reuters FX rates, compiled using data from Thomson Reuters and other providers, are calculated by WM, a unit of State Street Corp. The rates are one of several benchmarks used throughout the course of the global trading session in the major FX centres of London, New York and Tokyo.

Thomson Reuters is the parent company of Reuters News, which is not involved in the rate fixing process.