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The Dutch publicly-traded liquidity-provider Flow Traders is doing extremely well on the Amsterdam AEX, which is currently crashing. Does that make sense?

My idea of a market-maker is that their happy flow business depends on typical market conditions, e.g., no extreme volatility and no strong trends. For instance, I saw that their American counterpart Virtu Financial is following more the general trend of other stock assets on its corresponding exchange.

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Is hard to ever answer 100% on a question like this as different market makers trade different sizes and strategies, but two key things often happen in a crisis which market makers like:

  1. Spreads typically widen (sometimes dramatically so) meaning they profit a lot more if they continue to get matched on both sides
  2. Volumes often increase, further adding to the higher profits created by point #1

Provided they can continue to get matched on both sides of their bids (this is the big if to make this strategy profitable, and it carries considerable risk if not executed well), volatility and crisis can easily make them much better off.

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