Icap (IAP.L), the world's premier interdealer broker, announced today that its electronic fixed-income broking platform BrokerTec was selected, after extensive work by the Euro Debt Market Association (AMTE), as a platform that fulfils its criteria for the wholesale trading of euro government bonds in France.
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. France is the third EU country to open its bond markets to competitive platforms, following Belgium and Holland.
John Edwards, Director of Fixed Income Sales, ICAP Electronic Broking, said: "We are very pleased to have been selected as a trading platform in this market. This is the strongest signal yet that the opening up of the European government bond market is gaining momentum and we are pleased to be part of this process".
French government debt forms a significant portion of total EU government debt. According to the Agence France Trésor, French government negotiable debt outstanding as of 30 April 2008 was 954 billion. Repo on French government debt is already the third largest EU repo market on BrokerTec, with average daily nominal volumes (single count) of approximately €28-30 billion.
Mr Philippe Mills, Head of the Agence France Trésor, said: "We see the extension of platform choice in trading French Government Bonds as positive for the development of the market as a whole."
BrokerTec is a highly robust and scalable platform; widely installed across Europe and already used by banks to trade European government bonds and repos. 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.