The electronic trading platform Eurex Bonds, operated by the Eurex derivatives exchange together with leading global bond-trading houses, is introducing an order book on May 3. The electronic order book will enable the input of single-sided, limited buy- or sell-orders, which are not executed immediately due to their limit. Up until now, participants could only quote - i.e. set buy and sell prices at the same time - or trade in placed quotes. The order book will simplify order- and position-keeping for participants and will facilitate new trading strategies, thus producing further increases in liquidity and turnover on this trading platform.
The introduction of what are known as "iceberg orders" will be instrumental in generating new trading strategies. Instead of reporting the entire order volume directly in the order book, only a portion - individually specified by the participant - is disclosed for this type of limited order. Once this portion of the order has been settled in full, new orders are placed up until the point where the total volume of the order is reached, or until the participant cancels the remainder of the order.
2003 was another successful year for Eurex Bonds. Trading volumes rose by roughly 34 percent to €182 billion year-on-year (single counting), noting their highest annual earnings to date. The daily average rose to €718 million in 2003, (2002: €537 million). This trend continued in the first quarter of 2004. Average daily volumes increased significantly, up 16 percent to €830 million.
This increase in trading activity is the result of further growth in liquidity and new participants. Four new market participants were acquired in 2003, as well as a further three institutions in 2004. This means that a total of 29 institutions from France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, and the UK are currently admitted to trading. HSBC as new participant, is just about to be approved to Eurex Bonds, and several other institutions are in the process to be connected.
The Eurex Bonds range of products includes liquid and benchmark bonds (German government bonds), German Treasury Discount Paper (Bubills), Basis Products, Jumbo Pfandbriefe, as well as KfW and EIB bonds. Eurex Clearing is the Central Counterparty for all transactions.