Citi has expanded its hybrid high- and low-touch platform into Brazil as reforms to market structure provide sophisticated trading opportunities.
The Total Touch platform offers a hybrid service of both high- and low-touch services and will now offer equities in Brazil after the country has moved to open up its markets.
Brazil has begun relaxing rules on foreign access and last month the BM&F Bovespa exchange reached an agreement with Chi-X Global to allow foreign investors to receive quotes in their home currency via its FX platform.
"The progress of the market structure in Brazil creates an opportunity to add more sophisticated trading practices to the region," according to Fabio Gheilerman, head of Latam trading at Citi.
Changes in market structure have seen retail flow fall back, but institutional flow is on the increase, creating more opportunities to provide services to asset managers, Gheilerman said.
The bank has been active in Brazil for some time and the new service will provide those trading in the country with many of the value-add services of high-touch trading and the ease of use of low-touch trading, giving efficient access to block liquidity.
Kevin Russell, global head of cash equities trading at Citi, added: "The intersection of experienced human trader knowledge and robust electronic capabilities creates an opportunity for market participants to take advantage of a hybrid approach to investing."
Total Touch was launched in the US in 2010 and has executed over 3 billion shares in US single stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) with a US$100 billion notional value. It offers US stocks ETFs and Brazilian equities.
Citi plans to rollout the service in other South American countries, with Mexico likely to be next.