ICMA Electronic Trading Council (ETC) publishes paper on Axe Distribution Best Practice Standards


3 November 2020 The ICMA ETC has published a paper on axe distribution best practice standards. To some outside the fixed income trading world, the term ‘axe’ is an odd name to use for advertising buy or sell bond interests. In equities the self-explanatory term that is used to advertise buy or sell interests is “Indication of Interest” (IOI). Whereas in fixed income the common term used to advertise buy or sell interests is ‘axe’.

For many years in fixed income, and particularly in the sphere of electronic trading, there has been keen interest in axe distribution practices. This is because axes are vital to bond trading. Yet not all distribution behaviour is uniform and this is causing much consternation amongst buy-side market participants.

Through discussion and investigation into acceptable and less acceptable axe distribution practices, ICMA’s Axe Standard Working Group aims to address this situation and stabilise axe distribution practices.
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