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# IB IdealPro Cross Currency Margin Requirements

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by tedace, May 9, 2006.

1. ### tedace

I would just like to verify if I understood the IB web page correctly. If I traded crosses like GBP/JPY or EUR/GBP, and my account is in USD, is the margin required additive, e.g., for GBP/JPY, my margin comes from the conversion of GBP to USD plus JPY to USD (with commensurate leverage)? I would just like to understand why, at 50% leverage, 17500 units of GBP/JPY has a margin of 4698.99 at IB whereas the same order has a margin of 652.89 at OANDA (where basis of margin computation is just from GBP/USD)? I am using demos for both brokers. I sense I am misunderstanding something here?

2. ### tedace

I'd like to follow-up by clarifying the question with an example:

On a USD account, I'd like to buy 17500 GBP/JPY at the ask of 207.27. I compute the margin as follows (as indicated in the website):

On the Cross, I am buying GBP:

GBP: 17500 x 1.8642 USD/GBP = 32623.5USD, then x .02 margin= 652.47 USD

Now that I have my 17500 GBP, at the same time, I am selling JPY where 1GBP=207.27. Therefore 17500 GBP x 207.27 JPY/GBP = 3627225 JPY. Then:

JPY: -3627225 / 110.50 JPY/USD = -32825.565 USD, then x .02 margin = 656.5113 USD

Total margin for cross: 652.47 + 656.5113 = 1308.9813

1) Is this a correct margin computation for a cross?

2) If it is, how come I could never get this result on the "Check Margin" feature? The results are off by over \$500 or more. I expect the results to be close to the computation (rate variation and all close to clicking 'Check Margin'). What am I not adding to the computation or what's wrong with the computation?

3) This example is just for long trades. Why is there a difference in margin between long and short of the same pair on 'Check Margin'? As I said previously, I was comparing margins with OANDA (since I am seriously considering automating ForEx trades with IB and my manual account is with OANDA). The margin calculation for them is more straightforward and just based on GBP for GBP/JPY and no difference between long and short trades :
http://www.oanda.com/products/fxmath/margin.shtml

Thank you.

3. ### alanm

In a live USD account, buying 17500 GBP.JPY at 208.35 (market .29 - .35), check margin gives me a req of \$763.06. I, too, calc the requirement as ~\$1321 based on the margin page. Perhaps there's a discount for crosses like this (as there should be).

Bump. IB?

5. ### TGM

IB margins both legs separately. So think of it as two positions. IB set up Ideal for Currency conversions and then made it into a FX trading platform. Technically, the margin changes at every tick.

6. ### alanm

Apparently not, because the required margin is less than the sum of those required for the two positions, which is the point of the thread.

7. ### tedace

Thank you for your replies! I couldn't figure it out but I think the best solution for me is to abandon IDEALRPO altogether for ForEx trading of currency crosses (by CROSS, I mean those that are not paired with the USD). From my analysis, it looks like all crosses , once ordered, is pre-split by IB to their USD components before sending it out to their liquidity providers (hence two margins). This becomes a synthetic pair, rather than a true pair. If your model is following the cross price, then your model becomes immediately invalidated by the pre-split. While it is true that the USD components determine part of the price in the model, the direct trading on the cross itself without a USD component also exerts price pressure. I may be wrong in my analysis, but another annoying thing with trading crosses with IB are those bits and pieces of currency left when you close your cross position. I know there is a workaround to it, but, it is still a workaround.

ET IS FREE BECAUSE OF THE FINANCIAL SUPPORT FROM THESE COMPANIES: