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Introduction to Primary Markets Qualification (IPMQ)
Download brochure Since the onset of the global financial crisis the role of the primary markets in providing funding has increased significantly. With limitations on their capital, banks can no longer play a dominant role in providing finance. The securities markets have increasingly taken up the task of key provider of funds.

This qualification offers participants a broad overview of international finance, from the different entities requiring finance to the roles of the banks and securities markets in providing that finance.

By completing the programme you will be able to:
  • Identify the key users and providers of finance in the primary markets and their differing needs
  • Understand the key attributes of debt and equity from a primary market perspective, and key concepts of corporate finance such as CAPM and WACC
  • Understand the key financing characteristics of the term loan market, the bond markets and equity markets
  • Examine the importance of securities investors and basic concepts of modern portfolio theory
  • Understand the different methods of underwriting and syndication in the primary markets
  • Examine the different methods of distribution and allocation
  • Review the key contractual documents in launching an international financing and the key regulations that impact the primary markets

Who should attend?

Given the increasingly dominant role of the primary markets, anyone with an interest in international finance will benefit from the programme.

This is an entry-level qualification requiring only the most basic understanding of debt and equity. However, the course also serves as a valuable basis for the more advanced and detailed study offered in the ICMA Primary Market Certificate (PMC).

Candidates should have basic quantitative skills but no prior study or work experience is required.

Programme Recognition

Candidates who are successful in gaining the Introduction to Primary Market Qualification qualify for 16.5 credit hours under the guidelines of the CFA Institute’s Continuing Education Programme.

Test your knowledge

Unsure if this is the right course for you? Click here to take a short sample exam.
Download brochureThe syllabus is divided into several topic areas, which are then broken down into multiple subtopics:

1. Introduction to Financing

  • The Role of Capital Markets
  • The Users of Finance
    • Sovereigns, Supras, Agencies & Municipalities
    • Financial Institutions
    • Corporates
    • Projects
    • The Providers of Finance
    • Banks
    • Investors in securities
      • Debt
      • Equity
  • Short-term vs. long-term needs
  • Money Markets vs. Capital Markets
  • The Role of Investment banks
  • DCM & ECM
  • Primary markets vs. Secondary markets

2. Sources of Finance
  • Financing choices
  • Debt, equity & retained earnings
  • Characteristics of each
  • IRR and NPV
  • Cost of equity and debt
  • Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM)
  • Weighted Average Cost Of Capital (WACC)
  • Effects of Financial Leverage
  • Modigliani and Miller’s Irrelevance Propositions
  • Financing and Market Conditions

3. Providers of Finance: Banks
  • Principles of Banking: Leverage
  • The bank loan market
  • Working Capital Funding
  • Capital Expenditure Funding
  • Term Loans
    • Fixed / floating
    • Committed / uncommitted
    • Recourse, limited recourse & non-recourse
    • Interest rate & price
    • Bi-lateral & Syndicated Loans
    • Facilities & Utilisation
  • Covenants
  • Limitations of the loan market
  • Loans vs Bonds

4. Providers of Finance: Securities Markets
  • Why Invest?
  • Income vs. Capital Gain
  • The Investment Horizon
  • Risk vs. Return
  • The Efficient Frontier
  • The Sharpe Ratio
  • Importance of Liquidity
  • Investor Types
  • Regional variations

5. Equity Issuance
  • Characteristics of Equity
  • Types of Equity
  • Reasons for issuance
    • The company
    • Vendors
    • The investors
  • Types of issuance
    • IPOs - Primary offerings
    • Secondary offerings
  • Going public
    • Advantages and disadvantages
  • Stock Market Types
  • Stock exchanges
    • Advantages and disadvantages
  • Suitability for flotation

6. Debt Issuance – Bonds
  • Characteristics of Bonds
  • Reasons for issuance
  • Borrower Requirements
  • Types of Issuance
    • Domestic bonds
    • Foreign bonds
    • Eurobonds
    • Globals
  • Fixed Rate or Floating Rate
    • FRNs
    • Swap market
  • Medium Term Notes
  • High Yield market

7. Syndication & Distribution Mechanisms
  • Why syndicate?
  • Understanding Underwriting
    • Several
    • Joint & Several
  • Syndicate roles
  • Choosing your lead manager/s
  • Distribution & Pricing Mechanisms
    • Auction
    • Bought Deals
    • Fixed Price Re-offer
    • “Best Efforts”
    • Bookbuilding  & Accelerated Bookbuilding
  • Geographical considerations :
    • Selling Restrictions
    • Depository Receipts
  • Stabilisation
  • Allocation
  • Why List?
  • Public Issues vs. Private Placements

8. Documentation & Regulation

  • The Purpose of Documentation
  • Compliance considerations
  • Due Diligence & Verification
  • The Prospectus
    • EEA Prospectus Directive
  • Underwriting / Subscription  Agreement
  • Agreement Among Underwriters / Managers
  • Other Regulatory Considerations:
    • Market Abuse Directive
    • MiFID

9. Closing & Settlement
  • Closing Requirements
  • Role of CSDs and ICSDs
  • Role of the Common Depository
  • Security Format
    • Registered or Bearer?
  • Delivery Format
    • Physical
    • Dematerialised
    • Immobilised

The training is delivered over two and a half days with an exam taking place on the afternoon of day three.

The exam consists of 50 multiple choice questions which candidates have two hours to complete. In order to pass, candidates must answer a minimum of 30 questions correctly, with a score of 45 or more earning a distinction.
Details of the next seminars


24-26 October 2016 - Fully booked

6-8 March 2017

International Capital Market Association (ICMA) Limited
3rd Floor
23 College Hill
London EC4R 2RP
United Kingdom


2016: £1,875 for Members and £2,450 for non-members

2017: £1,950 for Members and £2,750 for non-members

Please note, candidates who register for a 2017 programme before Monday, 2nd January 2017 will pay the lower 2016 cost.

The course fee includes all lunches, coffee breaks and training materials.

Payment can be made by secure online credit card or by invoice.

Terms and conditions

Please click here to view our terms and conditions before registering.


Should you have any queries, please contact education@icmagroup.org.
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