Frequently Asked Questions 

Chapter 8 Infrastructure


What is AMS/3?

AMS/3, the third generation of the Automatic Order Matching and Execution System, is the securities trading infrastructure developed by the Exchange. It was launched in October 2000. The system has gone through several upgrades with the latest version AMS/3.8 launched in December 2011. 

The trading system of the Exchange is an order-driven system. During the Pre-opening Session and the Closing Auction Session, the system accepts at-auction and at-auction limit orders only. During the Continuous Trading Session, the system accepts limit, enhanced limit and special limit orders only, with an option for an ‘All-or-Nothing Qualifier’ that confines the order to be either executed immediately in full or rejected, without being written into the central order book.

For more information about AMS/3, please refer to "Securities Trading Infrastructure" under the "Market Operations" section of the HKEX website.



What is CCASS/3?  

CCASS/3, the latest generation of the Central Clearing and Settlement System, was developed to meet the securities market’s needs and accommodate market growth.  It was built on an open, robust, secure and flexible modularised architecture.  It was designed to provide efficient and dynamic clearing and settlement by adhering to international standards for securities messages and providing interactive communication with market participants through a standard message-based application programming interface.  The system supports multi-market settlement, extended hours of market operation, and alternative settlement cycles.

For more information about CCASS/3, please refer to "Securities Clearing" under the "Market Operations" section of the HKEX website.  



What is HKATS?  

Hong Kong Futures Automated Trading System (HKATS) is the electronic trading system for the HKEX derivatives market. Trading is conducted via workstations or Open Application Programming Interfaces (OAPI) located at the premises of Futures Exchange Participants and Stock Options Exchange Participants.

HKATS provides real-time data such as traded price and quantity, day high/low, turnover, price depth and order depth.  Users can view real-time price information on a computer screen, click on a bid or ask price and execute an order.  

With HKATS, Exchange Participants can provide their clients with full electronic order routing, straight-through trade processing and other value-added services, and also supply detailed information such as the exact time of order placement and execution.

The Hong Kong Futures Exchange began introducing electronic trading in November 1995, when open outcry trading was still the main trading method among international derivatives exchanges. The electronic trading system was subsequently upgraded and was renamed HKATS in April 1999.  Since then, there have been a number of upgrades of the HKATS hardware and software. 

For more information about HKATS, please refer to "Derivatives Trading Infrastructure" under the "Market Operations" section of the HKEX website.



What is DCASS?   

DCASS, the Derivatives Central Clearing and Settlement System, is an integrated clearing and settlement system for all options and futures contracts traded at HKEX.  DCASS comprises the core derivatives clearing and settlement functionality, the margining engine and the Common Collateral Management System (CCMS). CCMS supports the management of collateral for the securities and derivative markets. It accommodates a wide range of collateral types and has cross-market collateral management capability.

For more information about DCASS, please refer to "Derivatives Clearing" under the "Market Operations" section of the HKEX website.



Does HKEX have contingency/recovery plans if its securities or derivatives trading system fails?

In the event of trading system or equipment failure, contingency measures are in place to resume trading as soon as possible.

In case of service interruptions caused by fire or major hardware failure at the AMS/3 or HKATS primary site, trading will switch to the AMS/3 or HKATS backup system at the backup site. Site failover will normally take 45 minutes to 1.5 hours, and reasonable time will be allowed to inform the market before trading resumes.



Will HKEX compensate those who suffer losses due to market system failure?

HKEX has exercised Due Diligence to ensure the normal functioning and operation of its market systems. HKEX has also developed a set of contingency arrangements to cope with system emergencies. According to the Securities and Futures Ordinance, HKEX will not incur liability in respect of anything done or omitted to be done in good faith.