Mapping of Bond platforms in Europe (ICMA study)

An interesting report from The international Capital Markets Association (ICMA ), has mapped the features and coverage of European Bond Trading Platforms.

According to the report, the European bond market trading has become increasingly electronic due to a natural evolution of trading, and more recently, as a by-product of regulation. Market participants have a regulatory obligation to evidence best execution and meet transparency obligations, but more importantly need to source and optimise liquidity.

The fixed income landscape is currently very fragmented. The reduction in balance sheet due to Basel III combined with investors’ reluctance to trade has led to a diffusion of liquidity across platforms. This is particularly the case in corporate bonds where it is often heard that liquidity is “a mile wide and an inch deep”.

Here is a chart from a previous post which shows the lack of inventory being held by dealers, making it harder for investors to find the liquidity they require.

Bond inventoryChart showing Net Bond inventory held by primary dealers (McKinsey/Greenwich)

Sourcing and aggregating liquidity is paramount for sell-side and buy-side traders. Technology is the only way to enable these participants to uncover the liquidity available. Understanding the contrasts and capabilities of new and more traditional platforms, is the first step to choosing the best execution venue or information network available in the market.

ICMA has undertaken a Continue reading

SalesTrader dashboards

Sales Traders have traditionally been poorly served in terms of dedicated sales trader GUIs. This I think is related to salespeople being overly protective of their client relationships, and fearful that quoting clients electronically would in some way result in them being disintermediated by the machine.

Preferring instead to trade with clients by phone, thus ‘protecting and enhancing their personal ‘high touch’ relationship’ with the client. As a result, Sales GUIs never really received the attention they deserved, or needed.

Well, that’s going to change, for a variety of reasons, the main ones being: Continue reading

EBS buys institutional platform Molten Markets

Interesting to see the announcement from EBSBrokerTec, that they are buying Molten Markets, the three-year old FX technology platform for asset managers and pension funds.

According to the PR, the acquisition of Molten Markets will enable EBS BrokerTec to provide asset managers with a sophisticated execution management system and innovative trade cost analysis. Leveraging Molten Markets’ assets and technology, as well as EBS BrokerTec’s extensive distribution network and liquidity provider (LP) relationships, will enable EBS BrokerTec to offer a unique range of solutions to the asset management industry, while at the same time enhancing its offering to its LP customers.

Molten Markets current product suite include: Continue reading

FX Platforms: Sept 15 vols down led by EBS -10.9%, and Reuters -8.4%, whilst CME futures show gain of +6%

After the strong surges in volumes in Aug all the major OTC FX platforms saw falls in Sept 15, with EBS down -10.9% at $89.4bn/day, whilst Reuters were down -8.4% at $109bn/day. Only The CME showed a gain, up some 6% at $118bn/day across all FX products.

Among the second ranked platforms, Hotspot recorded a -7.4% drop to $26.2bn/day, whilst Fastmatch was down 14.2% at $7.8bn/day.

Top Tier Platforms

Looking at the table below, we can see that Reuters other products (fwds, and their SEF platform), saw modest gains of 4.5%. In terms of year on year changes, both Reuters and EBS spot volumes are down over -24% compared to last Sept. Continue reading

Investment Bank League Tables for 1st half 2015 (from Coalition research)

Here is a summary from the Coalition research report on Global & Regional Investment Bank League Tables for 1st half 2015.

  • JPMorgan continued to lead the global Investment Bank rankings with $13.2bn revenues, up $1.7bn YoY. Goldman Sachs remained second, followed by Deutsche and Citi ranked as equal third.
  • Banks with strong Macro Fixed income franchises outperformed those who are more dependent on Credit-related activities. JPMorgan retained FICC global leadership, followed by Citi and Deutsche Bank
  • Strong Prime Brokerage and Derivative houses (Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan) maintained their global Equities leadership
  • Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan continue to lead Origination, with M&A outperforming ECM and DCM
  • US Banks’ global strength is reflected in regional performance. Whereas rankings in APAC and EMEA were led by Deutsche Bank, Americans took three of the top five rankings in these regions and all top five rankings in their home region

Below are tables showing ranking, and link to how to request the report.

Continue reading

Here Comes HTML5 for Financial Markets (Greenwich Associates)

Came across this white paper from Greenwich Associates (from Jun 15) on the adoption of HTML5 within financial markets.

The report is based on interviews with 149 financial institutions, and found that technologists are rapidly shifting their focus toward the application needs of users, rather than the underlying operating system (OS). The focus is now on ‘The cloud, HTML5 and mobile’ (as was clearly identified in Caplin’s HTML5 in 2013: Where Next?  and Trading on the move white papers).

HTML5, is swiftly proving itself by delivering native, real-time financial applications that are OS and device agnostic. However, many who are unsure about even the near-term future of their OS and device requirements still aren’t devising an HTML5 strategy. This lack of planning may leave many ill-prepared for an OS or device upheaval within their firm.

Windows 7 still main desktop OS within Continue reading

R5FX: New platform for Emerging Market and NDF FX trading

R5FX, a new interbank platform for Emerging Markets FX (EMFX) went live yesterday in London for ‘Latam FX trading’.

The platform, built using Smarttrade’s technology, provides a new liquidity pool for electronically traded Non-Deliverable Forwards (eNDFs), and EMFX. The platform seeks to lead the market change from voice to screen in BRICS and N-11 currency trading.

Jon VollemaereAccording to Jon Vollemaere, CEO of R5FX (pictured at recent EMFX conference, talking about EM volatility ….time to get your ‘tin helmets on’!)

“Going live with R5FX Latam in London is an important first step, as we build out our dedicated global emerging markets platform”

“By providing EMFX participants with increased transparency, centralised credit and a further offshore alternative, we are doing more than just offering the same old trading tools, we are helping our customers to build markets. Today this is in Latam FX, which will become more widespread as we launch further currencies later this year.

Continue reading


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