MarketAxess and BlackRock extend trading alliance into Asia

Source: MarketAxess

MarketAxess Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: MKTX) and BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE: BLK) are expanding their Open Trading alliance into the Asian credit markets.

Open Trading is an all-to-all trading marketplace that allows global participants, including buy- and sell-side firms, to connect via a central network on the MarketAxess trading platform. The strategic alliance builds upon the success of the firms’ existing partnership in U.S. and European credit, with the goal of improving liquidity and reducing transaction costs for global participants in the Asian fixed income market. The partnership brings together order flow from one of the world’s largest asset managers and its broad Aladdin client community with MarketAxess’ network of more than 1,300 global investor and dealer firms to improve the range of trading connections available to Asian credit market participants.

BlackRock and its Aladdin community of approximately 90 asset managers[1] will have the benefit of streamlined access to MarketAxess’ expanded liquidity options and data products through the Aladdin platform. In addition, BlackRock and the Aladdin community will add buy-side perspectives, including input on strategic direction and innovations in trade execution capabilities. The alliance will offer increased choice in trade execution options and counterparties, while providing valuable data and market insights to better inform trading decisions for Asian credit market participants during local trading hours.

Rick McVey, Chairman and CEO of MarketAxess, said, “Since the original Open Trading strategic alliance with BlackRock in 2013, we have seen meaningful adoption of new trading models from credit market participants. Far-reaching regulatory changes are causing buy- and sell-side traders to seek out broader and more efficient liquidity pools. In 2017, 16.2% of all MarketAxess platform volume was executed via Open Trading, up from 13.2% in 2016. With the growth in Open Trading, market participants are seeing a wider range of bond trading opportunities with lower transaction costs.”

“MarketAxess has been a tremendous partner and we are excited to extend our partnership with them to Asian credit markets,” said Richie Prager, Head of Trading, Liquidity and Investments Platform for BlackRock. “As the Asian credit market evolves, we remain committed to delivering innovative liquidity and investment solutions that benefits our Investment and Aladdin clients around the world.”

Richard Schiffman, Head of Open Trading at MarketAxess, added, "Open Trading has become a meaningful source of liquidity for MarketAxess’ buy- and sell-side customers. In 2017, 950 individual firms actively used Open Trading to trade credit, up from 840 firms in 2016. This expanding pool of participants helped drive a 65% year-over-year increase in Open Trading price responses. This is new and actionable liquidity that is only available by bringing together investors, dealers and other market participants onto a single all-to-all platform.”

In addition to trading innovations, global clients will benefit from access to unique market data from Trax®, a subsidiary of MarketAxess, with volume and pricing data from 30,000 transactions processed daily by Trax through its post-trade services, and quoted and traded prices on over 50,000 unique bonds. Trax data covers all major fixed income sectors including corporate and government bonds, convertibles, covered bonds, Emerging Market debt and Asian corporate and sovereign debt. Trax data products offer
a unique view into the European fixed income markets as Trax processes approximately 65% of all fixed income transactions in Europe.

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