ICMA Update for Members - March 2018

ICMA remains deeply involved in helping its members deal with the implications of MiFID II/R following the January implementation date and is organising regional meetings in Europe to assess what issues are still causing concern. We have also run further briefings this week on MiFID II/R issues for members in Asia and in the MENA region.
Benchmark reform post LIBOR is high on our agenda. For a thorough explanation of the issues at stake for fixed income markets, see Paul Richards’ article on The Transition from LIBOR from the ICMA Quarterly Report for the First Quarter of 2018. Our work here is intensifying. ICMA was asked by the Bank of England and UK Financial Conduct Authority to chair the Sub-Group on Bond Markets of the Sterling Risk-Free Rate Working Group. The Sub-Group has already been constituted, agreed its terms of reference and held its first meeting, so work is well under way. We have also been invited to join the Euro Risk-Free Rates Working Group and been asked to join the Swiss National Working Group on Risk-Free Rates.
Finally, registrations for ICMA’s 50th AGM and Conference are open, we hope you will join us in Madrid from 30 May to 1 June.

Martin Scheck

ICMA Chief Executive


If you have any comments on this update or its contents, please contact us at: ICMACorporateCommunications@icmagroup.org

Green, Social and Sustainable finance
ICMA and the other members of the Global Green Finance Council (GGFC) support the European Commission’s Action Plan on sustainable finance issued on 8 March, noting its breadth and ambition, with 10 different workstreams promoting the transition to a sustainable economy. The Action Plan will help align further the existing initiatives and efforts of the financial industry with policy objectives, and the GGFC specifically welcomes:
  • the proposed creation of an EU Sustainable Taxonomy;
  • the development of an EU Green Bond standard;
  • the emphasis on incorporating climate risks into the risk management processes of financial institutions with reference in particular to the industry-led Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) work;
  • the study of the potential merits of including sustainability factors in prudential requirements;
  • increasing resources and building sustainability expertise at the level of the European Supervisory Agencies.
The LMA has, together with the APLMA, launched the Green Loan Principles (GLP) with the support of ICMA. The GLP aim to create a high-level framework of market standards and guidelines, providing a consistent methodology for use across the wholesale green loan market, whilst allowing the loan product to retain its flexibility, and preserving the integrity of the green loan market while it develops. The GLP build on and refer to the Green Bond Principles (GBP) of ICMA, with a view to promoting consistency across financial markets.   
Contact: greenbonds@icmagroup.org
GMRA and legal opinions
Since the early 1990s ICMA has devoted considerable resources to developing a standard master agreement for repo. The first version of the GMRA was published in 1992 and was followed by substantially revised versions in 1995, 2000 and 2011.
ICMA obtains and annually updates opinions from numerous jurisdictions worldwide on the GMRA 1995, 2000 and 2011 versions for the benefit of its members.
ICMA’s European Repo and Collateral Committee recently decided to discontinue coverage of the GMRA 1995 in the ICMA GMRA legal opinions from 2019 onwards.
Contact: legalhelpdesk@icmagroup.org
Repo and collateral
The European Repo and Collateral Council (ERCC) has released the results of its 34th semi-annual survey of the European repo market. The survey, which calculates the amount of repo business outstanding on 6 December 2017 from the returns of 64 offices of 60 financial groups, sets the baseline figure for European market size at €7,250 billion. This is the largest figure ever recorded by the survey since it began in 2001 and exceeds pre-crisis figures for the size of the repo market in Europe. The survey also noted the regulatory challenges that lie ahead with the implementation of the Net Stable Funding Ratio (NSFR), Central Securities Depository Regulation (CSDR), Securities Financing Transactions Regulation (SFTR) and other measures.

The results of the survey were among the items on the agenda at the ERCC AGM held in London on 14 March, which also included sessions on recent work on the evolution of the GMRA and ‘Unlocking the value of T2S’.
Contact: reposurvey@icmagroup.org
Asset Management and Investors Council
The AMIC has responded to a consultation by the UK Financial Reporting Council (FRC) on the review of the UK Corporate Governance Code and on the UK Stewardship Code. The AMIC response calls for an enhanced role for bond holders in corporate engagement with stakeholders but recommends that the “comply and explain” approach is retained as a flexible way for companies and investors to adhere to the Code. AMIC looks forward to continued engagement with the FRC, in particular when a more thorough review of the Stewardship Code is launched later this year.
The spring conference of AMIC was held in Brussels, on Tuesday, 6 March, with panels on smart beta, corporate governance, liquidity and other aspects of the AMIC work programme.

The European Commission has proposed common rules for European Covered Bonds, consisting of a Directive and a Regulation. With €2.1 trillion in outstanding amounts, they are currently among the largest debt markets in the EU. However, the EU covered bond market is currently fragmented along national lines with differences across Member States. The Covered Bond Investor Council (CBIC), an AMIC working group, has sent CBIC members a summary of the legislation and circulated a a first draft position paper. If you are a covered bond investor and would like to know more about the CBIC’s work on the legislation, please get in touch.
Contact: patrik.karlsson@icmagroup.org or bogdan.pop@icmagroup.org
ICMA Asia-Pacific
ICMA continues to work with NAFMII under the UK-China Economic and Financial Dialogue and has established a working group this year on the bond trustee mechanism with an aim to publish a report in autumn. ICMA and NAFMII have also, in partnership with City of London and the British Embassy, begun work on a study to explore ways in which to open up the Chinese bond markets to facilitate investments pursuant to the Belt and Road initiative.
Lunchtime briefings in Singapore, 19 March and Hong Kong, 23 March, have provided an overview of the main changes that MiFID II/R has brought to European fixed income market structure and operation, highlighting the opportunities that are being created for new market entrants and new ways of doing business for Asian fixed income issuers, investors and banks.
In line with the ICMA European Repo survey and in cooperation with ASIFMA we are currently conducting an Asian repo survey. This work builds on the pilot survey last year and should give a threshold size for the repo market in Asia.
The 2018 Green and Social Bond Principles Annual General Meeting and Conference, co-organised by ICMA and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and supported by the Hong Kong Financial Services Development Council (FSDC), will be held in Hong Kong on 14 June.

Contact: mushtaq.kapasi@icmagroup.org or ricco.zhang@icmagroup.org
Market Practice and Regulatory Policy
For a full list of ICMA’s Market Practice and Regulatory Policy experts and their areas of expertise click here.
More detailed information on ICMA Market Practice and Regulatory Policy work on behalf of members can be found in the ICMA Quarterly Report for the first quarter of 2018 which was published on 10 January 2018. The Quarterly Report for the second quarter of 2018 will be published in April.

The ICMA Regulatory Grid which summarises proposed financial regulations affecting the cross-border securities market in Europe is available for download on the locked members’-only area of the ICMA website.
This is a working draft provided by the ICMA Market Practice and Regulatory Policy team and is periodically updated.

Responses to consultations
8 March ICMA response to the ESMA Consultation Paper on draft RTS under the new Prospectus Regulation.

22 February ICMA response to the European Commission’s consultation 'Public consultation on building a proportionate regulatory environment to support SME listing'.
Founded in 1988, ICSA is the global organisation of securities industry associations. ICSA provides a forum for member associations to understand developments, exchange views, and collaborate to work for better global capital markets. ICSA advocates appropriate regulatory policies, regulations, and initiatives across jurisdictions to promote efficient securities markets and the flow of cross-border capital. ICMA is an ICSA affiliated organisation.
Contact: peisenhardt@iiac.ca

Mentoring platform
The ICMA mentoring platform can help you find a career mentor in the international capital market. Join over 300 registered mentees and 120 mentors on the platform find out more…

ICMA Legal and Regulatory

Helpdesk numbers

(ICMA members only)


+44 20 7213 0341 (London)

+41 44 360 5237 (Zurich)

+852 2531 6590 (Hong Kong)


For legal queries: legalhelpdesk@icmagroup.org

For market practice and regulatory policy queries: regulatoryhelpdesk@icmagroup.org


Get Involved!

New to the industry? Read Get involved! our quick guide to the international capital market and how to engage with ICMA.

Introduction to green bonds – new course dates in May!
Our new ‘Introduction to green bonds’ course ran in London in March to a full house, giving a thorough and practically oriented introduction to the essentials of green bonds, introducing underlying market drivers, the evolving regulatory framework and the main features of the green bond product and market based on the GBP. The next course will run in London on 15-16 May Read more

ICMA Events
International and MENA fixed income and repo markets, Dubai, 16 April
This seminar will explore how corporate bond and repo markets are changing, both at the international level and for the MENA region. Among the topics under discussion: increasing interest in sustainable finance such as green and social bonds; the liquidity challenges for repo and collateral markets and; the effect of MiFID II on bond trading and its implications beyond Europe. Read more…
50th AGM and Conference
The programme is nearly complete for the 50th ICMA AGM and Conference in Madrid from 30 May to 1 June
Featuring speakers from the global capital markets and their regulators, the conference will focus on factors driving change in the business, including regulation, automation and geopolitics, and the key investment trends in a post-QE economy,
Every ICMA member firm is entitled to a number of free places to attend the conference, contact us at membership@icmagroup.org to check your allocation.
ICMA Women’s Network Events
All ICMA members are welcome to come along to our ICMA Women’s Network events!
We’ll be holding our first Nordic Region one in Stockholm on Thursday, 12 April. Called ‘Starting out’, our panel of inspirational industry figures will discuss how they got to where they are – what worked for them, what didn’t, what they would tell their younger selves.
The London IWN event on 3 May as well as providing excellent networking potential with 150+ fixed income market colleagues will take a look at the career enhancing possibilities of FinTech.


ICMA Executive Education
The 2018 education schedule is in full swing with our examined qualification programmes running in various European locations in the first half of 2018. Next up is the flagship ICMA Fixed Income Certificate (FIC) in Amsterdam on 16-20 April - an essential qualification for market professionals for over 40 years.
If you can’t make the time for the classroom programme, then this, and some of our other certification courses are also available online for self-study at your own pace but with the support of online tutors and an online community of students. Sign up now to start learning in April!
Financial Markets Foundation Qualification (FMFQ) Online

Securities Operations Foundation Qualification (SOFQ) Online

ICMA Fixed Income Certificate (FIC) Online
(Formerly known as the IFID Online Programme)

To book your place on ICMA EE online or classroom courses visit icmagroup.org/education


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