ICMA Update for Members - June 2019

The news cycle has not slowed during the summer months with continuing, often conflicting, reports on politics, trade wars and the state of the global economy, and also on the state of the environment. We are facing increasingly difficult conditions both for the bond market and for you, our members. The economic challenges for all of us include negative bond yields and the risk of recession. We remain focused on bringing our growing membership together to look for positive practical solutions to immediate problems for international capital markets. Progress on some of these is outlined below.

Martin Scheck
Chief Executive

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

New members in August
The following firms were admitted to ICMA membership in August 2019.
Berlin Hyp AG, Berlin
Bombay Stock Exchange Brokers' Forum (BBF), Mumbai
Invest Banca S.p.A., Florence
Nomura Securities Co., Ltd., Tokyo
Pinsent Masons LLP, London
Bringing the total number of ICMA members to 575 members in 62 countries.
Contact: sanaa.clausse@icmagroup.org

Briefing paper on the importance of integrated capital markets and CMU
ICMA has supported CMU from the outset and continues to see significant value in the further development of the CMU concept. We have prepared a short briefing paper on the importance of integrated capital markets and CMU. This encompasses some high-level observations on the incremental complexity introduced by Brexit and the importance of making progress to fulfil the objectives of CMU in a way which allows the EU to achieve better outcomes in a highly competitive global environment. The paper also outlines why ICMA considers there to be a big opportunity to fully exploit the synergies between each of the CMU, the sustainability action plan and the FinTech action plan.
Contact: david.hiscock@icmgroup.org

Primary markets
On behalf of all its member constituencies ICMA has responded to the ECB’s consultation regarding a European mechanism for the issuance and initial distribution of EU sovereign debt securities in the European Union (EDDI), identifying the questions that need to be addressed for its successful implementation.
Contact: leland.goss@icmagroup.org

Secondary markets
The secondary markets team at ICMA are about to launch a brief fortnightly e-mail newsletter, which will cover latest developments in the sector, featuring ICMA and working group activities, regulatory updates and new publications. Sign up for the ICMA secondary markets newsletter.
As the 2020 date of implementation for the contentious mandatory buy-in obligations under the Central Securities Depository Regulation (CSDR) approaches, ICMA is engaged in a number of important related initiatives. These include updating the ICMA “buy-in rules” (part of the ICMA Secondary Market Rules & Recommendations) to create a legal framework and market best practice to support compliance for ICMA members. We are also working with ESMA to address a number of technical challenges in the regulation (such as asymmetrical payments of the buy-in and cash compensation differential) and working with the industry to design a workable pass-on mechanism. ICMA will also look to undertake a new market impact study, updating the previous analysis published in 2015. You can keep up-to-date with ICMA’s work through its dedicated CSDR-SD working group. Meanwhile, read more on mandatory buy-ins, their scope and requirements.
ICMA is also nearing completion of its research for the 3rd ICMA study into the state and evolution of the European IG Corporate Bond Secondary Market. Intended to update on the seminal 2016 report, the new study seeks to address three key questions: (i) What is the current state and expected course for market liquidity? (ii) How is the structure of the market evolving? (iii) What are the expectations for future market developments? ICMA plans to publish the new report in Q4 2019.
Also in the pipeline for publication in the coming months is a study of the internationalisation of China’s onshore corporate bond market. This will build on some of the findings of ICMA’s 2018 report on the state and evolution of the Asia-Pacific cross border corporate bond secondary market.
Contact: andy.hill@icmagroup.org
ICMA’s MiFID II Market Data and Consolidated Tape Working Groups and Task Force, involving the buy side, sell side, trading venues and data providers, are drafting a response to the ESMA consultation on the cost of market data and consolidated tape. While the consultation focuses specifically on the development of a post-trade consolidated tape (CT) for equity products, ICMA views this as a valuable opportunity to highlight market considerations with respect to a CT for EU bond markets, which, in many respects, are quite distinct from those of equities. Deadline 6 September.
Contact: elizabeth.callaghan@icmagroup.org

Repo and collateral
ICMA’s ERCC has submitted a detailed response to ESMA’s consultation on draft Guidelines in relation to SFTR Reporting under Articles 4 and 12. The response was prepared based on feedback from the ERCC’s SFTR Task Force, which brings together more than 600 individuals from over 100 member firms, including sell-side, buy-side, market infrastructures and service providers, leading the industry’s implementation effort in relation to repo. The response form itself was submitted alongside two further documents prepared by the Task Force over the past months, a list of SFTR sample reports, as well as detailed overview table on the reporting of repo lifecycle events.
ERCC has also published guidelines on repo market best practice with respect to the transition from EONIA to €STR to be followed from 1 October 2019. The ECB announced in March that it will start publishing the €STR as of 2 October 2019, reflecting the trading activity of 1 October 2019. The finalised guidelines will be included in the ICMA ERCC Guide to Best Practice in the European Repo Market.
ICMA is cooperating with ISDA to extend the development of the Common Domain Model (CDM) to include repo and, by extension, outright bond transactions: a single, common digital representation of securities trade events and lifecycles intended to enhance standardisation and facilitate interoperability across firms and platforms. The development of the CDM for all financial markets and securities will be critical in creating cross-industry efficiencies, while easing the development and adaptation of new technologies. Read more about ICMA and ISDA’s work on this important initiative.
Contacts: alexander.westphal@icmagroup.org; andy.hill@icmagroup.org

Sustainable finance
The Green Bond Principles and Social Bond Principles Executive Committee has responded to Bloomberg Barclays MSCI Green Bond Index consultation and is currently drafting a response to the consultation on the EU Taxonomy for Sustainable Activities.
Following the publication in March 2018 of the Action Plan on sustainable finance of the European Commission, the Technical Working Group on Sustainable Finance (TEG) was established in June 2018. ICMA, with the support of the GBP SBP ExCom, was nominated on the TEG which has held monthly working group and plenary meetings since its inception.

On 18 June 2019 the TEG published reports and guidelines relating to its 4 key deliverables:
  • EU Taxonomy for sustainable activities
  • EU Green Bond Standard
  • EU climate benchmarks and benchmarks' ESG disclosures
  • Guidelines on the disclosure of environmental and social information
ICMA has produced an overview and comments on these reports. Contact: greenbonds@icmagroup.org
ICMA has a vacancy for a full-time position as Director, Sustainable Finance, based in the either the ICMA Limited office in London or the ICMA representative office in Paris within ICMA’s sustainable finance team. It is an opportunity for an experienced professional to be involved in a ground-breaking international market initiative in support of the green, social and sustainability bond markets and sustainable finance generally. If you would like to apply for this role, please send a cover letter and CV by close on Friday, 20 September 2019.
Contact: parisoffice@icmagroup.org

Asset Management & Investors Council (AMIC)
AMIC has submitted a response to ESMA’s consultation on possible short-term pressure from the financial sector on corporations. AMIC refutes the idea that short termism is a prevalent bias of asset managers and calls for a regulatory framework which can further foster capital allocation towards sustainable and long-term assets.
Sign up for the AMIC newsletter for weekly updates on buy-side developments.
Contact: arthur.carabia@icmagroup.org

Transition to Risk Free Rates in Asia-Pacific
ICMA and ASIFMA are establishing a joint Asia-Pacific IBOR Transition Working Group to address regulatory hurdles and consistency in the region as well as facilitate client education. The group will look to coordinate activities among the various trade associations active in benchmark reform in the Asia-Pacific region, including ISDA and APLMA, as well as the various national groups which are already focused on these topics. It will focus on encouraging greater consistency across the jurisdictions. Apart from regulatory and advocacy work, the group will help to coordinate outreach activities (such as workshops and webinars) to increase awareness of developments and risks in the region.
Contact: mushtaq.kapasi@icmagroup.org
Read more on ICMA’s work on development and implementation of Risk-Free Reference Rates (RFRs)
Episodes of the ICMA podcast cover career tips from industry leaders and current regulatory concerns, together with broader themes such as mental health and diversity. Launched in June most popular in the series so far are What is Bond Connect? Introduction to SFTR and Innovation in primary markets.

Listen now on our website (or on iTunes or Spotify - search for ICMA podcast).

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
Green Bond Principles and Social Bond Principles Helpdesk 
(ICMA members and members/observers of the Principles only)

+33 1 70 17 64 70



ICMA Events

13th ICMA Primary Market Forum, London, 14 November
Hosted by London Stock Exchange Group
ICMA European Repo and Collateral Council General Meeting, Brussels,15 November
Hosted by Euroclear
ICMA Asset Management and Investors Council (AMIC) Conference, London 27 November
Hosted by BlackRock

Save the date for these events! 

Conference: The Securities Financing Transactions Regulation (SFTR), Luxembourg, 2 October 

ICMA Future Leaders networking evening, London, 21 November

Green bonds

ICMA and JSDA will hold their 3rd joint conference on Developments in Green, Social and Sustainability Bond Markets in Tokyo on 9 October. There will be a one day ICMA workshop: Introduction to Green Bonds in Tokyo on the day before the conference.

Don’t miss our two-day Introduction to Green Bonds Workshop on 14-15 October in London.


In the run up to the implementation of the Securities Financing Transactions Regulation in Europe in 2020 we have organised a number of workshops.

The next London one is on 13 September. Two workshops in Asia will brief members on the implications for Asia-Pacific fixed income markets. The workshop in Singapore on 3 September is hosted by SGX and the one in Hong Kong on 4 September by Bloomberg.

Members briefing calls 
Call for ICMA Asia Pacific members - EU Action Plan on Sustainable Finance, 29 August – listen to the recorded call

The transition from IBORs to risk-free rates, 12.00 UK / 13.00 CET, 16 September - Register

ICMA Executive Education (EE) 

The full 2019 schedule is online so you can book your place now for any of our flagship programmes in Primary Markets, Secondary Markets and Operations.

ICMA EE also offers online qualifications in operations and fixed income, including the ICMA Fixed Income Certificate (FIC), available every month on our online platform.

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

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's Market Practice and Regulatory Policy work on behalf of members can be found in the ICMA Quarterly Report for the Third Quarter 2019, published on 11 July. The ICMA Quarterly Report for the Fourth Quarter 2019 is due to be published on 10 October.
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. It is a working draft provided by the ICMA Market Practice and Regulatory Policy team and is periodically updated.

Twitter & LinkedIn

We are increasingly using social media to post notifications of new reports and consultations, also events and courses – sign up to follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn and be the first to know. 


For further information:
Tel: +44 20 7213 0310

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