Icap (IAP.L), the world's premier interdealer broker, announced today that the Belgian Debt Agency has selected ICAP's electronic fixed income platform BrokerTec as a platform that fulfils its criteria for the wholesale trading of euro government bonds in Belgium.
This enables European primary dealers to fulfil their secondary market quoting obligations in the wholesale government bond market on BrokerTec, opening this market to competing electronic platforms for the first time.
John Edwards, Director of Fixed Income Sales, ICAP Electronic Broking, said: "We are delighted to have been selected by the Belgian Debt Agency and believe this a major step towards the ultimate goal of establishing a more efficient government bond market. BrokerTec is a highly robust and scalable platform; widely installed across Europe and already used by banks to trade European government bonds and repos."
In the European repo market, a market significantly larger than the size of the overall EU government bond market, more than $250 billion per day on average is traded on BrokerTec. ICAP's BrokerTec platform is also the leading electronic platform for trading US Treasuries.
The BrokerTec platform is supported by state-of-the-art technology, which is regularly enhanced to ensure the highest levels of reliability and customer satisfaction. BrokerTec's straight through processing (STP) application automatically processes trades, allowing for enhanced execution and settlement, while simultaneously reducing costs and inefficiencies associated with traditional paper-based methods.
A 2006 study by Professor Avinash Persaud identified the economic damage to Europe from competitive restrictions applied to trading in European government bond markets. He calculated that Europeans suffer an estimated economic welfare loss of €119 million annually and that these restrictions create unnecessary systemic risks, hamper market liquidity and undermine trading-process innovation.