Message from the President & CEO

January 2018

In 2017, Japan’s well-balanced economic growth continued. Business conditions are improving in a  positive economic cycle with increasing profits leading to greater expenditures. In geopolitics, North Korea and the Middle East created waves during the year and expectations for U.S. interest rate increases bolstered the value of the dollar. As a result, TOCOM's leading Gold and Platinum contracts had historically low volatility.

In 2017, we rolled-out numerous initiatives that improved market convenience and grew our market's breadth. In March, we launched the Platinum Rolling Spot contract, which trades without maturity and is similar to the Gold Rolling Spot contract. Retail investors in particular have found the Platinum Rolling Spot contract an appealing investment vehicle and it has quickly become one of the most actively traded contracts at TOCOM.

In efforts to broaden our market's investor base, we recruited new trade participants at home and abroad and bolstered marketing and sales support for our broker members. We strengthened efforts to promote our exchange in China, including acquiring new remote trade members and signing new MOUs.

We also increased investor education programs by joining hands with our broker members and industry associations to host a series of seminars at “TOCOM Square” at the Exchange’s headquarters. In June, we launched TOCOM's "Real Trade Contest", Japan’s first competition hosted by a publicly regulated exchange to judge actual trading activities in the marketplace. The results successfully demonstrated retail investors’ potential in commodity trading, which attracted media attention.

In 2018, we will be implementing more projects to bolster the recovery in our markets and to further reinforce our role as Japan’s industry infrastructure.

We expect to launch electricity futures contracts in September. In addition, following the government’s “Growth Strategy 2017”, we are preparing a single marketplace for energy, with futures contracts including electricity, LNG and coal. Electricity futures will be the first listed product for the new market to facilitate industry needs for hedging. TOCOM continues preparations for listing LNG and coal futures.  

We also plan to list Technically Specified Rubber (TSR) futures contracts in response to changes in natural rubber supply and demand. This listing will increase the convenience of our rubber market for Japan’s rubber industry, the world’s largest rubber consumer, as well as China and producers in Thailand and Indonesia. The TOCOM’s RSS contract has long been serving the interests of the rubber market with index prices and the Exchange expects to further enhance its presence with new TSR futures.

I would like to conclude with the wish that 2018 is one of prosperity and happiness for all participants and friends of the TOCOM market and one of progress for the commodity derivatives market of Japan. On behalf of TOCOM, I would request your continued support and cooperation.

 

Takamichi Hamada
President & CEO
Tokyo Commodity Exchange, Inc.

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