AMIC Regulatory Update

March 2021

More than two months into 2021 and while the pandemic continues to keep most of our staff in offices around the world mostly working from home, with no plans as yet for the resumption of physical conferences and meetings, ICMA continues to support its members and the market with a growing number of responses to regulatory initiatives in Europe and Asia, more detailed and targeted information in newsletters and an increasingly international virtual events programme. We are seeing the emphasis on the twin themes of sustainability and FinTech continuing to drive rapid market developments and are devoting more resource to these areas. Our investment in extending the Common Domain Model to repo will set the foundation for further efficiencies in future.

This update summarises our activities and publications for the first weeks of this year.

Martin Scheck
ICMA Chief Executive

As ever if you have any comments on this update or its contents, please contact us at:


New members in 2021
ANZ Bank New Zealand Limited
Barclays Bank (Suisse) SA
Bird & Bird LLP
Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP
Hengeler Mueller Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB
Jane Street Netherlands B.V.
Origin Primary Limited
Standard Chartered Bank (China) Limited
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP

Contact for membership enquiries:


ICMA Scholarship Programme – first students from Sub-Saharan Africa
ICMA is delighted to welcome the first cohort of students from Sub-Saharan Africa to its new scholarship programme. The 25 successful individuals from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe were selected from an extensive number of applications received, based on their academic attainments and a personal statement on their suitability for their chosen course of study. The ICMA scholarship programme is part of ICMA's mission to raise standards and support inclusion in financial markets.

The new students will study online for an ICMA Diploma in either debt capital markets, securities & derivatives or financial market operations, starting next month. We wish them all the best in their endeavours!


AFE and ICMA sign Memorandum of Understanding
The Arab Federation of Exchanges signed an MoU with ICMA on 28 January 2021 in order to further develop and foster the close relationship that exists between them and promote capacity building in the Arab Markets.


New Commercial Paper Committee
On 2 March ICMA held the inaugural meeting of its Commercial Paper Committee (CPC). The new committee is a renaming and reconstitution of its longstanding Euro Commercial Paper (ECP) Committee. Whereas the ECP Committee had historically been dealer-based and focused purely on the international (‘euro’) element of the market, the CPC is intended to focus more broadly on the commercial paper (and certificates of deposit) market across Europe (both international and domestic), and is designed to encompass the broader ecosystem, including issuers (financial and corporate), investors, dealers, and relevant infrastructures. The formation of the CPC follows an ICMA workshop, 'The European Commercial Paper Market Reimagined', held on 4 November 2020.


Asian International Bond Markets – new report
Asian International Bond Markets: Development and Trends focuses on the international, offshore bond market in Asia, which is most easily accessible to international market participants. It looks at both primary and secondary markets, examining trends in issuance from China, India, ASEAN, and Japan as well as assessing the market structure and dynamics of bond trading in the region. Issuance in the Asian international bond market amounted to USD 575 billion in 2020, a more than five-fold increase from 2006. However, cross-border issuance still accounts for only 20% of all the bond issuance in Asia, while 40% of global bond issuance is cross-border.


The Internationalisation of the China Corporate Bond Market – new report
Recognising the increasing importance of China in the global bond markets, and in light of significant reforms and initiatives to attract foreign investors, as well as the inclusion of China in major global bond indices, ICMA has published a new report focusing on the trends, opportunities, and challenges related to related to the internationalisation of the China corporate bond market, both onshore and offshore. 

China’s onshore bond market, at approximately $15 trillion equivalent of outstandings, is the second largest in the world, after the US. ICMA estimates the overall size of the outstanding onshore credit bond market to be approximately valued at $5.8 trillion of which $3.7 trillion is non-financial corporates and $2.1 trillion are financial bonds. 


Sustainability-linked bonds – new Q&As and other resources
The Executive Committee of the Green and Social Bond Principles has published new Q&As for sustainability-linked bonds (SLBs). These are designed to promote understanding of this important new financial instrument and its place in an issuer’s overall sustainability strategy, as well as encourage development in this rapidly evolving new market. The Q&As support the Sustainability-Linked Bond Principles published by the Green & Social Bond Principles in June 2020 and now available in 21 languages. 

The Guidelines for External Reviews have also been updated to include sustainability-linked bonds. Finally, to complete the range of resources designed to enable the SLB market’s growth and promote its transparency, two forms are now available online, the Market Information Template and External Review Form. SLB issuers and reviewers are invited to complete the forms which will be made publicly available on the ICMA Sustainable Bonds Database which now tracks SLB issuances.

New translations: the Green Bond Principles are now available in Arabic and Vietnamese, the Social Bond Principles in Arabic and the Climate Transition Finance Handbook in Chinese, German, Japanese and Turkish.


Repo and collateral
A 6th edition of the ICMA recommendations for Reporting under SFTR was published on 17 February 2021. In addition, we have published a one page guide to the essentials of SFTR.

The results of the elections to the ERCC Committee were announced in February, nineteen individuals were elected with a term of office of one year.


Common Domain Model (CDM) for repo and bonds
ICMA and the newly formed Steering Committee began the initial CDM modelling phase for repo and bonds earlier this month. This initial phase will be focusing on standard fixed-term repo transactions, including trade execution, clearing and settlement (and outright bond transactions). The duration of the initial phase is approx. 18 weeks, including a showcase event. 

Background information, including supporting materials from workshops, a webinar and a presentation at the ERCC AGM in October 2020 can be found on ICMA’s dedicated CDM webpage. Member firms who would like to contribute to this cross-industry initiative are welcome to get in touch.


FinTech resources
ICMA has compiled a non-exhaustive list of recent publications on the topic of FinTech and sustainable finance, with a focus on bond markets, highlighting current views from academic, market, and official sector studies on the potential of FinTech to further sustainable debt capital markets. We have also recently updated the ICMA Primary Markets Technology Directory and the ICMA Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) regulatory directory, which is complemented by the ICMA FinTech regulatory roadmap. You can view all of the ICMA FinTech directories here.


Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR)
ICMA is convening a new member task force on SFDR implementation and has issued note following the publication of the ESAs' final recommendations for the regulatory technical standards (RTS) of the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR). The note explains the next steps regarding the decision making process and points out implementation challenges which members and policy makers may want to consider.


Responses to consultations
1 March 2021 ICMA response to IOSCO survey on bond ETF in the context of March/April 2020 market meltdown
2 February 2021 ICMA submits its response to the Targeted consultation on the review of CSDR 
29 January 2021 ICMA AMIC responds to EC consultation on the review of the alternative investment fund managers directive (AIFMD)
28 January 2021 ICMA AMIC responds to EC consultation on the review of the European long-term investment funds (ELTIF) regulatory framework
15 January 2021 ICMA responds to SFC Consultation Paper on the Management and Disclosure of Climate-related Risks by Fund Managers


ICMA Education
Over the past two years ICMA Education has trained over a thousand staff from a diverse range of organisations including regulatory authorities, central banks, development banks, asset managers, law firms and stock exchanges to name a few. We pride ourselves on delivering courses that have a real impact on participants understanding of different areas of the capital markets.

Don't miss these livestreamed courses coming up soon
Credit Derivatives: Trading, Investing and Structured Solutions, 18-26 March
Financial Markets Foundation Qualification (FMFQ), 22-30 March
Fixed Income Certificate (FIC), 7-28 April


Events in March
We are continuing with a full programme of virtual events, register for these in March!
16 March Climate transition finance: Application and outlook for China’s bond markets - 气候转型融资在中国债券市场中的应用与展望
24 March ICMA & Frontclear Africa webinar series: Accelerating Uganda’s repo market development
25 March Sustainability-Linked Bonds: update on new guidance and market practice
29 March Tokenisation and digital currency
30 March ICMA European Repo and Collateral Council (ERCC) Annual General Meeting

If you missed one of our events catch up through our media library:

ICMA podcast      

ICMA Briefing on the global transition from LIBOR to risk-free rates in the bond market
4 February 2021 ICMA provides an overview of the global transition from LIBOR to risk-free rates, particularly in the bond market. Paul Richards, Katie Kelly, Charlotte Bellamy and Mushtaq Kapasi discuss the adoption of risk-free rates and the active transition of legacy LIBOR bonds, legislation on tough legacy contracts and the transition to risk-free rates in Asia-Pacific.

ICMA podcast  

La place de la finance dans la transition environnementale, 5 ans après les Accords de Paris
3 February 2021
Cet évènement a dressé un panorama des principales initiatives prises par les autorités réglementaires et de contrôle au sujet de la finance durable, telles que le standard européen sur les obligations vertes, la taxonomie verte, ou bien la révision de la directive sur la publication d’informations extra-financières (NFRD).

ICMA podcast  

Climate transition finance: the Asia-Pacific perspective
28 January 2021
This virtual event, tailored for Asia-Pacific issuers and market participants, presented the new Climate Transition Finance Handbook and discussed practical applications and implications for the region.

ICMA podcast  

ICMA Future Leaders: Professional life in and after the COVID-19 world
27 January 2021
Professionals from different areas of the capital markets industry joined for a Q&A panel discussion to debate what will be the temporary versus permanent organisational shifts post-COVID and discuss the opportunities and downsides that this will bring. This event covered practical advice for building a career in the ‘new normal’.

ICMA podcast      

IFC’s Green Bond Technical Assistance Programme
Nicholas Pfaff, Head of Sustainable Finance, ICMA speaks to Jean Marie-Masse, Chief Investment Officer, International Finance Corporation (IFC) about their Green Bond Technical Assistance Programme (GP-TAP) which helps the development of the green bond market in emerging countries

ICMA podcast  

What’s next for ANBIMA and the Brazilian capital markets?
ICMA’s Chief Executive, Martin Scheck speaks with Jose Carlos Doherty, CEO, ANBIMA, about the role of the Brazilian Financial and Capital Markets Association and the challenges they have faced in the past year.

ICMA podcast  

The evolution of the panda bond market | China Chengxin International Credit Rating
ICMA’s Ricco Zhang speaks with Christine Zhang of China Chengxin International Credit Rating about the evolving market for Panda bonds, which refers to bonds issued in the Chinese bond market by foreign institutions duly registered outside China. 

ICMA podcast  

The future of electronic trading in bond markets with Neptune Networks Ltd
Byron Cooper-Fogarty, Interim CEO, Neptune Networks Ltd speaks to ICMA’s Liz Callaghan about the problems Neptune is solving for the bond market, how electronic bond trading is evolving and whether regulation is helping or hindering technology innovation.





ICMA Women's Network
At ICMA Women’s Network (IWN), we celebrate and support women in the financial industry throughout the year. For this International Women’s Day, IWN backed the #IWD2021 #ChooseToChallenge campaign in solidarity with women around the world.



Sign up for our newsletters
We have a series of focused e-mail newsletters on repo and collateral markets, secondary markets, a version of both of these tailored for our Asia-Pacific, FinTech, sustainable finance, asset management, corporate issuers and ICMA Future Leaders. To subscribe, please check the options available here.

To subscribe, please check the options available from this link.



More detailed information on ICMA’s Market Practice and Regulatory Policy work on behalf of members can be found in the ICMA Quarterly Report for the First Quarter 2021, published in January.


The ICMA Quarterly Report for the Second Quarter 2021 is due to be published in April.


For a full list of ICMA’s Market Practice and Regulatory Policy experts and their areas of expertise click here.




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