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4. How big is the repo market?
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There are large repo markets in the US and Europe (including the eurozone, UK, Denmark and Poland). There is also a large repo market in Japan, although the form it has traditionally taken (gentan) is strictly-speaking a type of securities lending transaction. The top 20 markets include Argentina, Australia, Canada, India, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand and Turkey. The remainder of the world’s repo markets are in perhaps another 30-40 countries with reasonably active markets (excluding central bank repo). There are also markets in what are incorrectly called repo, notably in China. These actually trade secured loans rather than true (title transfer) repos.

The ICMA’s semi-annual survey of the European repo market in June 2018 produced a figure of about EUR 7 trillion in terms of outstanding repo contracts for the survey sample (which includes the most active participants in the European repo market but is not comprehensive). At about the same time as the ICMA survey, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported that the outstanding repo business of its primary dealers (who may account for as much as 80-90% of the US market) as almost USD 4 trillion. The global market, although it has contracted since 2007, may be over EUR 15 trillion in outstanding size and turnover about EUR 3 trillion per day.

The results of the ICMA’s semi-annual survey of the European repo market, which has been conducted since 2001 and is the most authoritative source of regional repo market data, are published on the ICMA website.


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