Central Bank Survey of Foreign Exchange and Derivatives Market Activity 1998

Press release  | 
10 May 1999

The BIS is today publishing the final results of its triennial Central Bank Survey of Foreign Exchange and Derivatives Market Activity conducted in 1998. This follows the release of preliminary data on global foreign exchange and over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives turnover (for April) on 19 October 1998, and on open positions in OTC derivatives markets (for end-June) on 22 December 1998. The daily average of global foreign exchange turnover (in terms of notional principal amounts) in April 1998 was estimated at $1.5 trillion. Global positions in OTC financial derivatives contracts stood at $72 trillion (in terms of notional amounts outstanding) and $2.6 trillion (in terms of gross market values) at end-June 1998.

The report comprises five parts. Part A is a summary which provides an overview of the main findings. Part B discusses in detail the results for the foreign exchange market. In this part consideration is given only to turnover in traditional foreign exchange market instruments, i.e. spot, outright forwards and foreign exchange swaps, consistent with earlier BIS surveys of foreign exchange market activity. The results for turnover, notional amounts outstanding and market values of derivative instruments (for which reporting was introduced in 1995) are covered in Part C. Part D contains a full description of the methodology, explaining definitions, classification principles and compilation procedures. Part E is a statistical annex which contains tables with the detailed survey results.

This survey also serves as a benchmark for the new semiannual derivatives market statistics introduced at end-June 1998 and aimed at tracking the development of open positions (notional amounts outstanding and market values) in the global OTC derivatives markets over time. The results for end-December 1998 will be released in June.