Market Axess, the bank-backed multi-dealer credit research and distribution platform has begun trading in corporate bonds, following the approval of its broker-dealer license last month.
The Market Axess Internet portal - established as a joint venture project by UBS Warburg, Lehman Brothers, J P Morgan, Deutsche Bank Securities, Credit Suisse First Boston, Chase, Bear Stearns and ABN Amro - currently claims 350 institutional investor users and 250 broker-dealer users.
More than $8 billion in tradeable corporate bond inventory is currently available over the platform, representing more than 2700 bids and offers on 1300 unique issues. Over $12 billion in inventory is expected by the end of the month, claims the company.
Additional products to be rolled out for trading in the short-term include European high grade corporate, US and European high yield, emerging market, agency and municipal debt.
The company has also initiated its new issue capabilities by participating in the $1.65 billion Keyspan Corporation placement. New issue investors can now use the platform to review a global multi-dealer new issue calendar; obtain preliminary prospectuses and roadshow presentations; submit indications of interest; obtain pricing information; place orders directly to dealer capital markets desks; and receive allocations in new issues, the company claims.
Thomas Sorell, head of fixed income investments at Guardian Life, comments: "During the past three years, the credit markets experienced a loss in liquidity. Market Axess, as a multi-dealer platform, will improve price transparency and liquidity in the corporate bond market as it aggregates participants - both dealers and customers."