Mindful of the imminent MiFID II/R implementation deadline in January 2018 we are continuing with our programme of workshops for members, focused on implementation in the secondary bond market, with workshops in Lisbon on 11 December and Zurich on 13 December. Almost 800 bond market participants have already joined us at locations around Europe and Asia to share information on the transparency and the research obligations of MiFID II/R, its local interpretation and challenges. We anticipate that in 2018 we will be reviewing progress on implementation with a further series of meetings in various locations. Work on the MiFID II/R agenda so far is accessible from a single resource centre on our website, where you will also find updates on the PRIIPs regime coming into effect from 2018. 
Members are always welcome to contact us through the help desks in Europe and in Asia at legalhelpdesk@icmagroup.org or regulatoryhepldesk@icmagroup.org to discuss these regulations or other areas of concern.
Also in a European context, ICMA was pleased to be able to represent its various member constituencies as a member of the EC Expert Group on Corporate Bond Markets which launched two reports last week containing recommendations designed to improve the functioning of European corporate bond markets.
Two events in Asia-Pacific this month illustrate how rapidly capital markets in the region are evolving, in Shanghai our one-day conference gave an overview of progress on internationalisation of China’s capital markets, while in Tokyo, developments in green and social bond markets were presented to an audience of investors. ICMA was also represented at the launch of the ASEAN Green Bond Standards, based on the Green Bond Principles, tailored to meet the needs of the ASEAN bond markets.

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 November 
The following firms were admitted to ICMA membership in November 2017:
Avior Capital Markets (Pty) Ltd., Sandton
GFI Securities Limited, London
Hauck & Aufhäuser Privatbankiers AG, Frankfurt
Narodowy Bank Polski, Warsaw
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (UK) LLP, London
Tesco Personal Finance Plc, Edinburgh
Union Bancaire Privée, UBP SA, Geneva

Bringing the total number of ICMA members to 533 members in 62 countries.
View the full list of ICMA members.
Contact: sanaa.clausse@icmagroup.org

Survey on FICC research unbundling
ICMA’s Asset Management and Investors Council (AMIC) has conducted a survey on the intentions of investors with regard to the unbundling of FICC research as a result of the new rules coming from MiFID II. The results show that a clear majority of firms expect to be compliant by the MiFID II implementation deadline of 3 January 2018, but only half of respondents had (as at the end of October) received guidance from their national regulator about the rules. 67% of firms intend to pay for research from P&L, only 4% intend to use a research payment account (RPA), but 17% had not decided.
Contact: bogdan.pop@icmagroup.org

New directory of post-trade technology solutions
ICMA’s FinTech Working Group, a subgroup of the European Repo and Collateral Council (ERCC), has published a mapping directory of over 80 post-trade technology solutions in repo and cash bond markets. The directory is divided into 10 categories including, collateral management, exposure agreements and reconciliations. It provides information on how each solution can be used, for example whether pre- or post-settlement, for cleared or uncleared transactions and where it is located within the IT infrastructure. The mapping exercise primarily covers providers and solutions that are used by members of the group.
Contact: gabriel.callsen@icmagroup.org

European Commission final report of the Expert Group on Corporate Bond Markets
The final report of the Expert Group on Corporate Bond Markets, ‘Improving European Corporate Bond Markets’ has been published. The Expert Group was created in late 2016, following concerns raised in the CMU Call for Evidence related to European corporate bond market efficiency and liquidity. The 17 Group members represent a cross section of industry stakeholders in the European corporate bond markets, covering the entire value chain (issuers, market-makers, investors, infrastructure providers, and trade associations). ICMA was pleased to represent its constituents as a member of the Group.
Following twelve months of analysis, the report provides 22 recommendations, both policy and market focused, intended to improve the functioning of the European corporate bond markets from the perspective of issuers, investors, and intermediaries. The Expert Group has also published a second, more detailed analytical report, ‘Analysis of European Corporate Bond Markets’, which provides further background and support for the recommendations.
A study into the 'Drivers of Corporate Bond Market Liquidity in the European Union', prepared for the European Commission as part of its work on developing the European corporate bond market under CMU was also published last week. The report aims to provide a thorough analysis of the factors that influence market liquidity in corporate bonds, both financial and non-financial. The report considers both cyclical factors that drive liquidity and changes underway in the European corporate bond market, including the development of new trading mechanisms. The study confirms that European corporate bond market liquidity has been in serial decline since the crisis, and in particular since the introduction of Basel III capital requirements.
Contact: andy.hill@icmagroup.org

EC consultation on post trade in a capital market union
The ICMA ERCC has submitted a response to the European Commission’s consultation on ‘Post-trade in a Capital Market Union: dismantling barriers and strategy for the future’. The response focused on collateral and repo specific aspects of the consultation and was prepared based on feedback received from members of the ERCC Operations Group.
Contact: alexander.westphal@icmagroup.org

IOSCO consultation on Regulatory Reporting and Public Transparency in the Secondary Corporate Bond Markets
ICMA’s members used IOSCO’s consultation on regulatory reporting and public transparency in the secondary corporate bond markets to voice concerns about the imminent implementation of the MIFID II/R pre- and post-trade transparency regime. In particular, members are keen to stress that while market transparency, in principle, should be viewed as a public good, it should not be an end in itself. Ultimately, efficient and liquid markets are the most important considerations for investors, and the public availability of market and trading information is only desirable to the extent that it improves market efficiency and enhances protection for investors and issuers. With this in mind, policies and calibrations for market transparency should also be consistent with and supportive of political objectives to develop or expand deep and effective corporate bond markets as a primary source of financing for the real economy, such as the European Union’s Capital Markets Union (CMU) project.
Contact: andy.hill@icmagroup.org

China’s capital markets
A new report from ICMA and NAFMII ‘Panda bonds – the foreign issuer perspective’ outlines progress made in making China’s domestic bond markets accessible to international issuers. The report, a product of the 8th UK-China Economic and Financial Dialogue, is based on interviews with issuers active in the international debt capital based in all regions and identifies the main reasons why the market is potentially attractive and also describes the procedures for issuing panda bonds. The international issuers interviewed also indicated that they would welcome further guidance and clarity on the issuance procedure to have more certainty over the issuance timetable and their ability to satisfy the regulator’s requirements. Currently, the rules governing Chinese domestic bonds serve as the basis for the regulatory framework for panda bonds, which is being adjusted in view of the special requirements of foreign issuers on the use of proceeds, preparation of registration documents and information disclosure.

The recent conference in Shanghai on the internationalisation of China’s capital markets, jointly organised by ICMA, Shanghai Lujiazui Financial City Development Authority, and Zhong Lun Law Firm, reflected changes currently under way including: Bond Connect; green bonds; panda bonds and the opening of China’s domestic bond market; and Belt and Road infrastructure financing through the capital market.
Contact: ricco.zhang@icmagroup.org

Asian Green and Social Bond Markets
The ASEAN Green Bond Standards (AGBS) were launched at the ASEAN Capital Markets Forum’s inaugural ASEAN Capital Market Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. These were developed based on ICMA’s Green Bond Principles (GBP) tailored to meet the needs and commitment of ASEAN. The AGBS label is to be used only for issuers and projects in the region and specifically excludes fossil fuel-related projects.
In Tokyo the ICMA conference 'Developments in the Green and Social Bond Markets – the Asian Perspective’ took place on 2 November with the support of the Japan Securities Dealers Association (JSDA), building on sharp growth in Asian green bond activity, the recent launch of guidelines by the Japanese Ministry of Environment, pioneering social bond issuance, and increased regional investment in such products. An audience of 300 issuers, underwriters, investors, policymakers, market infrastructure and service providers and other green bond and social bond market stakeholders heard expert speakers explore requirements for the further development of the green bond market in the region, as well as the increasingly active social and sustainability bond markets. 
Contact: mushtaq.kapasi@icmagroup.org

Repo: OTC or exchange-traded?
Frontclear, whose purpose is to facilitate more participative interbank markets, has commissioned a study to assess whether an exchange is likely to be more effective than an over-the counter (OTC) market in fostering the development of domestic repo trading in emerging financial markets, particularly frontier markets. The study, carried out by Richard Comotto, the author of ICMA’s European Repo Survey, considers the arguments in favour of and against trading fixed income repo in OTC markets and exchanges, and reviews the evidence from four repo exchanges, Costa Rica, Kazakhstan, South Africa and Vietnam, with complimentary case studies from China, the Philippines, South Korea and European markets.

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 4th Quarter 2017 which was published on 12 October 2017. The Quarterly Report for the 1st Quarter 2018 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 submissions to regulators and deadlines
FMSB: Risk management transactions for new issuance 20 December
European Commission: ESAs review (prospectus approval aspects) January 2018


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 Events

Events organised by ICMA in November included, the 11th Primary Markets Forum and the Asset Management and Investors Council Meeting in London, the European Repo and Collateral Council General Meeting in Brussels and a seminar on bank resolution and bail-ins in Zurich. These, together with an ICMA Women’s Network event on the theme of unconscious bias held jointly with Unicredit in London, attracted more than 700 particpants.

Still to come in 2017 are an evening ICMA Future Leaders event in Paris, on 5 December and an ICMA Seminar on past and future developments in the capital markets in Amsterdam on 7 December.

We are now starting to focus on the event programme for 2018.
Book your place on the first ICMA event of 2018, the ski weekend in Arosa, 19-21 January.

The date and venue for the 2018 AGM, ICMA’s 50th, have been announced, contact Shannelle Rose to find out how you can get involved in supporting the event in this anniversary year!
Save the date for the 50th ICMA AGM and Conference
Madrid, May 30 to June 1, 2018


ICMA supported industry events in November/December

ASIFMA Annual Conference 2017: Developing Asia’s Capital Markets
Hong Kong, 29-30 November

Assessing the Impact of Regulation & Technology on Bond Syndication
London, 7 December


ICMA Executive Education
Invest in some quality education before the end of 2017!
There is still some availability on these courses:

Introduction to Primary Markets Qualification (IPMQ)
London: 29 November-1 December

Securities Lending & Borrowing – Operational Challenges
London: 11-12 December

Compliance in Fixed Income
London, 13 December

Registration is also now available for some 2018 course dates.
To book your place on ICMA EE online or classroom courses visit icmagroup.org/education


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