Big fish 大鱼

2020.9


Twenty years ago the world’s elite exchanges were clubby and obscure. Now their tentacles spread far and wide
二十年前世界顶尖交易所排外而低调。如今它们的触角四处蔓延 

 

经济学人大鱼


THE HONG KONG Stock Exchange (HKEX) resembles a financial estuary, says Charles Li, its boss. China’s capital flows mix with the open seas of global markets. In 2014 HKEX sought to ride the waves by launching Stock Connect, a conduit allowing offshore and mainland punters to invest in each other’s markets. Later it eased its listing rules for firms with dual share classes. All that has helped make HKEX more hospitable to the tech firms that exchanges covet. It has just landed another big catch. On August 25th Ant Group, the fintech affiliate of Alibaba, a Chinese e-commerce giant, filed for a listing that may raise $30bn in Hong Kong and Shanghai. That would make it the largest initial public offering ever.
香港交易所总裁李小加说,港交所就像一个金融入海口。中国的资本流在这里汇入全球市场的公海。2014年,港交所顺势而为,启动先后推出“沪港通”和“深港通”,允许境外和中国大陆投资者通过这个渠道投资对方市场。后来,它又针对双重股权结构公司放宽了上市规则。这些举措都让港交所更积极接纳被一众交易所觊觎的科技公司。最近它刚钓到了又一条大鱼。8月25日,中国电商巨头阿里巴巴的金融科技子公司蚂蚁集团申请在香港和上海两地上市,计划融资300亿美元。这将使其成为史上最大的IPO。
The news made a splash. But it is easy to forget that, in the two decades or so since they themselves listed, HKEX and other exchanges have become big fish too, by exploiting the benefits of network effects, data and scale that Big Tech is best known for. The London Stock Exchange, which was worth less than $2bn when it went public in 2001, now has a market capitalisation of $41bn. The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is now part of Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) which is worth $57bn (see chart 1). HKEX’s market capitalisation has grown nearly sixty-fold, to $61bn. Their revenues similarly boomed.
这条消息引发了轰动。但人们很容易忘记的是,在港交所等交易所自己上市后20年左右的时间里,它们同样通过网络效应、数据和规模优势这些原本是科技巨头最为人熟知的手段,让自己也长成了大鱼。伦敦证券交易所(LSE,简称“伦交所”)于2001年上市时市值还不到20亿美元,如今已达到410亿美元。纽约证券交易所(NYSE,简称“纽交所”)现在已被洲际交易所(ICE)收购,后者市值为570亿美元(见图表1)。
港交所的市值增长了近60倍,达到610亿美元。它们的收益同样暴涨。
Once crusty monopolies, exchanges have continually stretched their business models. They still run the match-making infrastructure that allows billions of shares and trillions of dollars to change hands daily. Stacey Cunningham, who helms NYSE, says it received over 300bn messages across its systems on peak days this spring; that is more than 50 times the number of daily Google searches. But after two decades of epic bidding wars and political drama, exchanges are also remarkably powerful financial conglomerates, controlling everything from the software powering banks’ back offices to the data pored over by investors. The race for dominance means that, today, a small group of elite exchanges are far ahead of the rest.
交易所曾是顽固封闭的垄断企业,把自己的商业模式不断用到极致。它们现在仍然经营着撮合交易的基础设施,每天易手的股票数量以十亿计,成交额以万亿美元计。纽交所的掌门人斯泰西•坎宁安(Stacey Cunningham)表示,今年春季高峰时段旗下系统每天收到3000多亿条报文。这是谷歌日搜索量的50倍还多。但是,在经历了20年的收购大战和政治大戏之后,交易所如今也是非常强大的金融企业集团,掌控着从银行后台软件到被投资者反复钻研的数据等方方面面。一场争夺统治地位的赛跑已经让一小批顶尖交易所遥遥领先。
Stock exchanges used to be owned by their members, which were mostly banks and brokers. When the biggest went public in the 2000s, they earned their crust by charging fees on equity issuance and transactions. The exchanges sought to diversify by expanding abroad and becoming trading venues for other assets, like derivatives and currencies. Most moved into clearing and settlement facilities, too.
股票交易所过去由会员所有,主要是银行和券商。当本世纪头十年最大的交易所纷纷上市时,它们通过对股票发行和交易收取费用来赚钱。交易所向海外扩张,并成为衍生品和货币等其他资产的交易场所,以求实现业务多元化。它们大部分还进入了清算和结算业务领域。
For much of that period, “eat or be eaten” was the industry’s motto. In 2007 NYSE bought Euronext, a group that included the Amsterdam and Paris exchanges. ICE bought NYSE in 2013 (and spun out Euronext). Yet the strategy soon came up against antitrust and political vetoes. Attempts to marry Toronto’s stock exchange with LSE, LSE with Deutsche Börse, Deutsche Börse with NYSE, have all collapsed. Most recently, in 2019, an opportunistic bid by HKEX for the LSE fell through.
在那个时期的大部分时间里,“弱肉强食”是这个行业的座右铭。2007年,纽交所收购了包括阿姆斯特丹交易所和巴黎交易所的泛欧交易所(Euronext)。洲际交易所于2013年收购了纽交所(并分拆了泛欧交易所)。但这种策略很快遭到反垄断和政治上的否决。多伦多证交所与伦交所、伦交所与德意志证交所(Deutsche Börse,简称“德交所”)、德交所与纽交所的合并尝试均告失败。最近一次失败的是2019年港交所对伦交所的投机性收购要约。
With deals proving tricky the firms have found crafty ways to expand. As passive funds came to prominence, trading venues set their sights on benchmarks tracked by these funds. In 2010 Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), a big derivatives market, acquired Dow Jones, which assembles many of America’s most widely followed indices. LSE has a number of benchmarks that cover both sides of the Atlantic. (Updates to such indices—like the ejection of ExxonMobil, an oil firm, from Dow’s flagship index on August 25th—can cause mountains of money to shift).
并购变得障碍重重后,交易所灵活应变,另觅扩张途径。随着被动型基金的崛起,交易所盯上了这些基金追踪的基准。2010年,大型衍生品市场芝加哥商品交易所(CME,简称“芝商所”)收购了汇编许多美国最受关注指数的道琼斯。伦交所也提供一系列涵盖欧美市场的基准。(此类指数的更新可能导致巨量资金转移,8月25日道琼斯从其旗舰指数中剔除了石油公司埃克森美孚便是一例)。
Now the elite exchanges have turned their attention to data. On August 6th ICE said it had agreed to pay $11bn for Ellie Mae, which tracks the mortgage industry. LSE is awaiting approval of its $27bn bid for Refinitiv, a market-data firm. The hunt, says David Schwimmer, LSE’s boss, is only beginning. Whereas trading volumes are cyclical, indices and data are typically sold via more stable subscriptions. Oliver Wyman, a consultancy, expects trading revenues to stagnate or even decline, but those from crunching data to grow by over 5% annually in coming years.
如今,顶尖交易所又将目光投向了数据。8月6日,洲际交易所表示已同意以110亿美元收购跟踪抵押贷款行业的Ellie Mae。伦交所出价270亿美元收购市场数据公司路孚特(Refinitiv),目前正等待批准。伦交所老板大卫•史威默(David Schwimmer)表示,竞购大战才刚刚打响。证券交易量会周期性涨跌,但指数和数据通常都是通过更稳定的订阅服务销售的。奥纬咨询(Oliver Wyman)预计,未来几年交易收入将停滞不前甚至下降,但来自数据分析的收入每年将增长5%以上。
Twenty years ago the fear was that new entrants would eventually topple the exchanges’ de facto monopolies. But the incumbents have kept the challengers at bay. Customer complaints about their fat fees once enticed startups, such as IEX, an exchange that pledges fairer pricing. The rise of “dark pools”—venues that match buyers and sellers anonymously—also posed a threat. But seven years since it was founded, IEX’s market share is stuck at 1.8%. The share of trading volume accounted for by dark pools in America has stabilised at 12%.
二十年前,交易所还在担心新进入者最终将颠覆它们事实上的垄断地位。但老牌交易所还是成功地将挑战者挡在了门外。客户对高额收费的抱怨一度吸引了一些创业公司冒头,例如承诺更公平定价的交易所IEX。“暗池”是一种匿名匹配买卖双方的交易场所,它的兴起也构成了一定威胁。但已成立七年的IEX的市场份额一直卡在1.8%。美国暗池交易的份额也稳定在12%。
The result is a pyramidal hierarchy, a good gauge of which is an exchange’s revenues. At the base are the minnows, in poor countries or small developed ones, which lack liquidity or scale and are struggling to diversify. Some should merge or close, but governments will keep them alive. “Every nation wants to have a strong airline, a good beer and a stock exchange,” says Nick O’Donnell of Baker McKenzie, a law firm.
结果就形成了一个金字塔型的层级结构,从交易所的收入水平就能清楚显示其所处位置。位于底部的是贫穷国家或小型发达国家的小鱼小虾,它们缺乏流动性,也不成规模,正在艰难地追求多元化。有些应该合并或关闭,但政府还是会让它们生存下去。“每个国家都想拥有一家航空巨头、一款好啤酒和一个股票交易所。”贝克麦坚时律师事务所(Baker McKenzie)的尼克•奥唐纳(Nick O’Donnell)说。
The next tier consists of exchanges with regional heft, and revenues exceeding $500m. Their reliance on trading in an era of tensions between America and China means they must team up or play to their strengths as neutral turf in order to thrive. On August 20th Singapore Exchange said it would work with LSE’s benchmark business to develop index derivatives focused on Asian and emerging markets. Euronext has acquired Nord Pool, a power market.
往上一层是具有区域影响力的交易所,收入超过五亿美元。它们对交易的高度依赖意味着,在中美关系紧张的时代,它们必须联合起来或者发挥自己作为中立地的优势才能蓬勃发展。8月20日,新加坡交易所宣布将与伦交所的基准指数业务合作,开发专注于亚洲和新兴市场的指数衍生品。泛欧交易所也收购了电力市场北欧电交所(Nord Pool)。
At the top of the food chain, with revenues at or exceeding $3bn, sit the giants: CME, Deutsche Börse, ICE and LSE. These have assured demand for big volumes, and will continue to reap the rewards of diversification. Two candidates are on the verge of promotion into the top league. Nasdaq, once famous only for its tech listings, now makes software that powers more than 130 other exchanges. HKEX enjoys the strongest tailwinds. It stands to win from China’s capital-market liberalisation, its growing tech nous and mainland firms’ desire to be closer to their home market. Geopolitics could also help, as Ant’s decision not to list in America may already show.
雄踞食品链顶端的是收入达到或超过30亿美元的巨头:芝商所、德交所、洲际交易所和伦交所。它们有对大宗交易的确切需求,并将继续通过多元化获得丰厚回报。另外两家交易所也有望很快跻身顶层团队。纳斯达克曾经只以科技股上市闻名,如今它开发的软件已为130多家交易所提供支持。港交所受到最强劲的顺风推动。随着中国资本市场不断开放、技术头脑不断增强,再加上中国大陆企业希望更贴近本土市场,它必将从中获益。地缘政治也可能成为助推因素,这从蚂蚁集团决定不在美国上市或许就已显现出来。
In time, Mr Li reckons, “almost all” Chinese companies listed in America will come back to Asia. Stock Connect, which makes up 7-8% of daily trading on HKEX, could end up accounting for a quarter of it. Being at the confluence of China’s rivers of capital and the sea of global funds should be a lucrative business.
李小加认为,“几乎所有”在美国上市的中国公司未来都会回归亚洲。沪港通和深港通现在占港交所日交易量的7%至8%,最终可能会扩大到四分之一。身处中国资本之河与全球资金之海的汇流处,理应钱途广阔。