BME launched today the Mercado Alternativo de Renta Fija or MARF, a complementary and alternative channel for medium and small enterprises, almost exclusively reliant on the banking system.
The objective of the new market is to help these enterprises tap the pool of savings of institutional investors with adjusted costs.
The Spanish Minister of the Economy and Competitiveness, Luis de Guindos and the Chairman of BME, Antonio Zoido, today presented MARF in the Bolsa de Madrid. The market is fully operational and in the process of signing members and registered advisers. Several companies have expressed their interest in this new market.
MARF is a Multilateral Trading Facility (MTF) geared to Institutional Investors. This type of electronic platform is designed to provide Fixed Income markets with enhanced transparency and liquidity and best execution, and in turn, the necessary investor protection.
The market is managed by AIAF, BME's Corporate Debt market, and relies on the work of two major participants: firstly, the Members, which are financial firms and investment services institutions authorised to trade on their behalf and on behalf of others. Secondly, the Registered Advisers, which are legal persons who advise companies on issuing shares and help them to deal with the periodic documentation and information required by the Market.
Those wishing to issue Fixed Income Assets on this market will benefit from fewer formal requirements, quicker procedures and lower issuance costs, without compromising the reporting obligations that are necessary to guarantee the confidence of investors in the securities listed.
In order to guarantee the success of MARF, several regulatory changes have been made affecting issuers and investors. As regards issuers, the leverage limit for bonds issued by joint stock companies for sophisticated investors has been removed for those issues that are geared to sophisticated investors. Besides, obligations related to the public deed, registration with the companies register, publicity and book-entry registration have been made more flexible.
With regards to investors, the privvate insurance and investment fund regulations have been modified in order to allow them to invest in this type of market and to make these investments eligible for coverage by technical provisions in the case of insurance.
In addition, the Corporate Tax Code has been changed so that investors' capital gains from investments in MARF are exempt from withholding tax, as is the case with those generated in the official secondary markets,
Lastly, the State-owned bank attached to the Spanish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Competitiveness or ICO, has created a specific line of credit to promote investment in bonds and corporate debentures through MARF.