Latest ESMA data shows 439 liquid bonds

Dan Barnes

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has made available new data for bonds subject to the pre- and post-trade requirements of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) and Regulation (MiFIR) through its data register.

ESMA has started today to make available the third quarterly liquidity assessment for bonds available for trading on EU trading venues at the end of December. For this period, there are currently 439 liquid bonds subject to MiFID II transparency requirements.

ESMA’s liquidity assessment for bonds is based on a quarterly assessment of quantitative liquidity criteria, which include the daily average trading activity (trades and notional amount) and percentage of days traded per quarter. ESMA updates the bond market liquidity assessments quarterly. However, additional data and corrections submitted to ESMA may result in further updates within each quarter, published in ESMA’s Financial Instruments Transparency System (FITRS), which shall be applicable the day following publication.

Paul Reynolds, TradingScreen
Paul Reynolds, TradingScreen

“ESMA is pointing towards a Fixed Income future where liquidity is based on the ability to gather and analyse data, rather than rely exclusively on dealer capital,” says Paul Reynolds, Head of Fixed Income at TradingScreen. “When you combine this data with all-to-all venues, you can see how data driven liquidity can service buy-side liquidity requests with very competitive pricing responses.”

The full list of assessed bonds will be available through FITRS in the XML files with publication date from 1 February 2019 and through the Register web interface.

As communicated on 27 September 2018, ESMA is also publishing two completeness indicators related to bond liquidity data.

In order to assess the contribution of a trading venue, both completeness indicators should be considered. The completeness ratio indicates the percentage of reports provided divided by the number of reports expected, irrespectively of the number of instruments available for trading on that trading venue. In other words, missing one or a few periods for a large number of instruments, or missing the same number of periods in one instrument only, does not change the value of this indicator.

This indicator is independent from the number of instruments available for trading on the venue. On the other hand, the completeness shortfall takes into account the number of incomplete ISINs for the trading venue. In other words, missing one or a few periods for a large number of instruments, increases the value of this indicator.

The transparency requirements for bonds deemed liquid in this release will apply from 16 February 2019 to 15 May 2019.

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