ICMA Update for Members - November 2018
Market volatility and fragility featured strongly in October as uncertainty took hold largely as a result of geopolitical and trade considerations. Amongst these, we have continued our work on Brexit, in particular on the impact on the international debt securities markets and the implications for financial stability of the cliff edge risks associated with a loss of passporting rights. This newsletter also contains comments on our activities in the other main areas on which we focus – primary markets, secondary markets, repo and collateral and sustainability. On top of this our work on the transition from IBORs to near risk-free rates continues to occupy significant time and resource and is likely to do so for the foreseeable future. The transition has ramifications for all of our members around the globe and ICMA is directly engaged in the relevant working groups in the UK, the euro area and Switzerland. We cooperate not only with many other relevant trade associations but also closely with the various authorities involved. Our most recent papers on the subject and other official sources are gathered in the benchmark reform section of our website.

Martin Scheck
ICMA Chief Executive

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

New members in October

The following firms were admitted to ICMA membership in October 2018.
CBP Quilvest S.A., Luxembourg
Electricite de France SA, Paris
ICAP Securities Limited, London
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Europe) S.A., Luxembourg
Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets plc, London
Nasdaq Stockholm AB, Stockholm
SGX Bond Trading Pte. Ltd., Singapore
Swedbank Robur Fonder AB, Sundbyberg

Bringing the total number of ICMA members to 549 in 62 countries.
Contact: sanaa.clausse@icmagroup.org

Primary markets

On 26 September 2018, ICMA published several updates to the ICMA Primary Market Handbook and communicated this to ICMA members and ICMA Primary Market Handbook subscribers.
Contact: charlotte.bellamy@icmagroup.org

On 28 September, ICMA responded to a UK FCA Call for Input on PRIIPs. The ICMA response notes that the product scope of the PRIIPs regime has been confusing in practice. It seems to have been interpreted by some as wider than initially expected, eg to include some vanilla bonds. This needs to be rectified given the potential sanctions for PRIIPs availability to EEA retail investors without a KID and the apparent consequential avoidance of retail investors by many borrowers.
Contact: ruari.ewing@icmagroup.org

On 1 October 2018, ICMA responded to the ESMA Consultation Paper on Guidelines on risk factors under the Prospectus Regulation, noting that many of the draft guidelines appear to be flexible and proportionate, and the position set out in the consultation paper is a helpful starting point. However, the precise impact of the draft guidelines on issuers will depend on the approach taken by NCAs in applying the guidelines. ICMA also raised several detailed points related to the proposed risk factor guidelines.
Contact: charlotte.bellamy@icmagroup.org

ICMA has reviewed denomination data since 2000 for EUR benchmark bond issues which shows a continuing decline tin the volume of low denomination new issues available to retail investors, accentuated by the PRIIPs and MiFID II product governance regimes.
Contact: ruari.ewing@icmagroup.org

Secondary markets

Nearly a year on from the implementation date, ICMA is running a series of workshops on the challenges the fixed income market has experienced when implementing MiFID II and what still needs to be adjusted in order for the market to benefit fully from its provisions, including enhanced transparency, data analysis, research availability and best execution. These sessions will also look at how MiFID II has become a catalyst for change in the evolution of electronic bond trading across Europe.
Designed for bond trading participants who are heavily focused on transparency, best execution and the research obligations of MiFID II/R, as well as the newly emerging trends in market structure, the first of these will take place in Brussels on 20 November and Madrid on the 12th of December.
Contact: elizabeth.callaghan@icmagroup.org

CSDR and mandatory buy-ins
While the  Central Securities Depository Regulation (CSDR) deals mainly with the regulation of Europe’s settlement systems, it contains a section on ‘settlement discipline’, which includes measures to improve settlement efficiency, such as cash penalties for fails. Among these is the provision for mandatory buy-ins. We have been looking in detail at the new mandatory buy-in regime, outlining its scope and regulatory requirements. It differs in a number of essential features from existing buy-in rule practice, notably ICMA’s own long-established buy-in rules relied on by our global membership. It has the potential to create additional market risks and economic uncertainties for bond market participants, both buyers and sellers, as well as intermediaries and lenders of securities. It also unintentionally creates adverse behavioural incentives for market participants.
ICMA published the latest in a series of papers in October looking at the effects of mandatory-buy-ins on the securities financing transactions.
Our recent webinar gives an overview of the CSDR mandatory buy-in provisions and contrasts these with more conventional processes, including ICMA’s own rules.
The CSDR buy-in provisions are expected to come into force in September 2020 and will also apply to non-EU/EEA domiciled trading entities. 
Contact: andy.hill@icmagroup.org

Repo and collateral

The European Repo and Collateral Council (ERCC) released the results of its 35th semi-annual survey of the European repo market. The survey, which calculates the amount of repo business outstanding on 6 June 2018, from the returns of 62 offices of 59 financial groups, sets the baseline figure for European market size at EUR 7,351 billion up from EUR 7,250 billion in the December 2017 survey. Year on year this represents an increase of 13.9%  since the June 2017 survey.
The next survey will take place on 6 December 2018, to participate download the survey forms.
Contact: reposurvey@icmagroup.org

The October ERCC General Meeting took place in Bloomberg’s award-winning new building in London, over 150 attendees from the European repo market heard the latest updates on SFTR from representatives of ESMA and others, the presentations are available to view online.
Contact: alexander.westphal@icmagroup.org

ICMA has  published a GMRA legal opinion for Mauritius bringing the number of jurisdictions covered to 67.
Contact: lisa.cleary@icmagroup.org

Sustainable finance

The Quarterly Newsletter for Green, Social and Sustainability Bonds updating statistics on market size and summarising recent developments in this sector was issued in October.
We have made some improvements to the Green, Social and Sustainability Bonds database on our website, which lists the issuers who have publicly disclosed their external review reports, or who have completed the relevant templates or forms, in accordance with the recommendations of the Principles. At the end of October nearly 300 issuers were listed in the database and users can now easily research green, social or sustainability bond issuers by selecting a category, a country or an external review provider.

Registrations are open for the Annual ICMA and JSDA Joint Conference: Developments in Green and Social Bond Markets – The Asian Perspective, in Tokyo on 11 December.
Featured speakers include:
  • Masamichi Kono, Deputy Secretary-General, OECD
  • Jun Ohta, Director, Deputy President and Executive Officer,
  • (Representative Executive Officer) Group CFO and Group CSO, SMFG
  • Akira Kiyota, Director & Representative Executive Officer, Group CEO, Japan Exchange Group, Inc.
SAVE THE DATE: 2019 Green Bond Principles and Social Bond Principles Annual General Meeting and Conference, Frankfurt, 13 June 2019

We have recently run successful green bond training courses in London, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, the next Introduction to Green Bonds Training Course will take place in London on 11-12 February.
Contact: greenbonds@icmagroup.org

Asset Management and Investors Council

The next AMIC Conference will be held in London on 22 November. Key ICMA priorities, including benchmark reform and transition to risk-free rates, mandatory buy-ins, the evolution of the landscape for investment research as well as securitisation, will be discussed from a buy-side perspective. All buy-side representatives including other financial market participants are invited to attend, the event is free of charge; however, registration in advance is essential.
The results of the second AMIC FICC Research Unbundling Survey will be discussed at the conference.
Contact: patrik.karlsson@icmagroup.org or bogdan.pop@icmagroup.org


The rise of FinTech has sparked increasing interest from financial regulators. Applications of distributed ledger technology, machine learning, big data analytics or cloud computing have significant potential to alter business models and impact the functioning of financial markets. In response, financial regulators have adopted different approaches to address FinTech and innovation in their respective jurisdictions.
ICMA published a summary of financial regulators’ approaches to FinTech, identifying examples in the cross-border debt capital markets, and aiming to provide a sense of the direction of travel. The paper is based on publicly available information and covers selected regulatory initiatives across 26 jurisdictions within Europe, Asia and North America.
This complements our other work in this area, including our overview of selected practical examples of FinTech applied in fixed income primary, secondary, repo and collateral markets, bringing together information on the latest developments.
Contact: gabriel.callsen@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 Fourth Quarter 2018 was published on 11 October  2018. The first Quarterly Report of 2019 will be published in January.

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.

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.

ICMA’s committees & councils

We carry out our work programme through these member committees and councils, click on the link to see what they are working on and who is represented there.

ICMA Regulatory Policy Committee (RPC) 

Primary markets
Public Sector Issuer Forum (PSIF) 
ICMA Corporate Issuer Forum (CIF) 
ICMA Financial Institution Issuer Forum (FIIF) 
ICMA Primary Market Practices (PMPC) Committee 
ICMA Asia Bond Syndicate Forum 
ICMA Legal and Documentation (LDC) Committee 
ICMA Asia Legal & Documentation Forum 
ICMA Euro Commercial Paper (ECP) Committee 

Secondary markets
ICMA Secondary Market Practices Committee (SMPC) 
ICMA Electronic Trading Council (ETC) 

Repo and collateral markets
ICMA European Repo and Collateral Council and Committee (ERCC) 

Green, Social and Sustainability bonds
Green Bond Principles and Social Bond Principles Executive Committee 

Asset management
ICMA Asset Management and Investors Council (AMIC) 
ICMA AMIC Covered Bond Investor Council (CBIC) 

ICMA Events

The ICMA Future Leaders will be holding two networking events in Europe before the end of the year. In Frankfurt on the evening of Thursday, 22 November, a presentation from guest speaker Raja Palaniappan, Chief Executive Officer of Origin, a London based FinTech firm focussed on the primary market, will be followed by an opportunity to network with colleagues from all areas of the fixed income business in Germany.
In Stockholm on 29 November, the ICMA Future Leaders Nordic Region event on ‘Getting to the Top’ features a panel of top level executives giving tips on success drawn from their own careers.
The IFL network is open to all employees of ICMA member firms regardless of seniority and provides fixed income professionals with the chance to meet others in the industry and be part of the wider ICMA community.
Contact: futureleaders@icmagroup.org.
The 2019 ICMA Events schedule is taking shape – view it on the website.

Save the date for these new events:

ICMA FinTech Conference London, 1 February (Registrations open December)

ICMA Secondary Market Forum Paris, 20 March (Registrations open January)


ICMA Executive Education

There are still a few available places for some of our flagship qualifications scheduled for the end of this year, including the Specialist Programme on OTC Derivatives Operations, running in London on 3-4 December 2018.
The course looks at different OTC derivatives products, the full derivatives trade, the fundamentals of the collateral in such transactions and the most important regulation affecting them. A whole section of the course is dedicated to EMIR and its impact on both centrally and non-centrally cleared derivatives trades.
The full 2019 schedule has also been confirmed 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



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