ICMA’s lead-manager constituency periodically participates in various discussions between the sell-side and investors.

Book updates

On 6 October 2020, the ICMA Primary Markets Handbook was amended to include item 5.13A (under the Book disclosure heading in Chapter 5, Bookbuilding and launch) as set out below:

5.13A Where a book update is stated as being in accordance with “ICMA 5.13A”, this means:
  1. arm’s length trading desk orders (in line with typical trading desk sizes) were included in the book update under a segregated heading of bookrunner demand;
  2. bookrunner backstop positions, trading desk orders specifically requested by issuers and/or syndicate and orders from DCM/syndicate desks (regardless of approvals received) were not included in any form in the book update (even under any segregated heading of bookrunner demand);
  3. orders from a bookrunner’s different desk constituents were split out into component parts to enable appropriate classification;
  4. any orders known, or reasonably suspected (in line with internal escalation requirements), to be inflated were not included in the book update;
  5. orders (whether ‘account X’ orders or otherwise) were entered into the orderbook as a single, separate line item for each investor order;
  6. all client orders were entered into the orderbook either (as appropriate) under their own name or as ‘account X’.

Availability of offer documentation

To reflect our commitment towards timeliness of offer documentation disclosure, ICMA published several recommendations on the availability of documentation to investors. These are contained in the remodelled ICMA Primary Market Handbook at Recommendations 5.11 and 5.12 (Documentation availability to investors). ICMA also references availability of offering documentation in Appendix A12 (Pre-sounding, bookbuilding and allocations) of the ICMA Primary Market Handbook (which was previously known as ICMA Explanatory Note XIII). These items can be found in the ICMA Primary Market Handbook (IPMA Handbook).

Senior debt / negative pledge covenant

ICMA published an explanatory note which aims to provide a brief, “non-legal” explanation of the term “senior” and the “negative pledge” covenant, as they are currently used in the terms and conditions of international corporate bond issues. The note, drafted in consultation with the Association of British Insurers (ABI), is intended to provide clarification on the use of these terms and highlight the most common misconceptions about their meaning.

12 October 2006
ICMA explanatory note on use of senior and negative pledge covenant


Ruari Ewing    
Senior Director, Market Practice and Regulatory Policy; secretary to the ICMA Primary Market Practices Committee and related groups.
Direct line: +44 20 7213 0316

Charlotte Bellamy
Senior Director, Market Practice and Regulatory Policy; secretary to the ICMA Legal & Documentation Committee and related groups.
Direct line: +44 20 7213 0340
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