Online Self-Study
Start date: 1 July
Duration: 6 weeks (recommended)

Online Self-Study
Start date: 1 August
Duration: 6 weeks (recommended)


With unprecedented levels of market volatility and uncertainty, the role of primary markets in providing funding has never been more important. With limitations on their capital, banks can no longer play a dominant role in providing finance and the securities markets have increasingly taken up the task of key provider of funds.

This qualification offers participants a broad overview of international finance, from the different entities requiring finance to the roles of the banks and securities markets in providing that finance.

Learning Outcomes

By completing this course you will be able to:

  • Identify the key users and providers of finance in the primary markets and their differing needs
  • Understand the key attributes of debt and equity from a primary market perspective, and key concepts of corporate finance such as CAPM and WACC
  • Understand the key financing characteristics of the term loan market, the bond markets and equity markets
  • Examine the importance of securities investors and basic concepts of modern portfolio theory
  • Understand the different methods of underwriting and syndication in the primary markets
  • Examine the different methods of distribution and allocation
  • Review the key contractual documents in launching an international financing and the key regulations that impact the primary markets

Who should attend?

Given the increasingly dominant role of the primary markets, anyone with an interest in international finance will benefit from the programme.

This is an entry-level qualification requiring only the most basic understanding of debt and equity. However, the course also serves as a valuable basis for the more advanced and detailed study offered in the ICMA Primary Market Certificate (PMC).

Candidates should have basic quantitative skills but no prior study or work experience is required.

The names of successful candidates will be included in our list of certificate holders.

Online courses start on the 1st of each month – please note that payment must be received BEFORE access to these courses are provided.

Frequently Asked Questions

This course answers questions including:

Who uses the capital markets?

Why do organisations issue bonds to raise finance?

What is the difference between capital markets and money markets?

How does an issuer access the bond market?


The exam consists of 50 multiple choice questions of which candidates must answer a minimum of 30 questions correctly, with a score of 45 or more earning a distinction. You will have six months in which to study the material, book and complete an online, fully invigilated exam.

We use a third-party exam invigilation service called ProctorU to administer the exams on our assessed courses. We recommend you take a few minutes to watch this video before you take your exam, which provides information on what to expect on the day. You can also take a look at some further information here.

More information regarding your specific exam will be available in the Exam Orientation page on Moodle, the ICMA training platform.

Certification and Programme Recognition

This course is certified by ICMA and the ICMA Centre, Henley Business School, University of Reading and accredited by CPD® Certification Service.

ICMA recommends that 24 learning hours can be associated with this course, based on attended/undertaken hours of study required to successfully complete the learning outcomes.

A Certificate of Completion will be awarded to those who successfully pass the final exam of this course – see Assessment section for more details.

ICMA is a member of the CPD® Certification Service, an FCA-approved qualifications provider and approved by the Securities & Futures Commission of Hong Kong as provider of Continuous Professional Training (CPT).

Please note that your course certificate of attendance or completion should be sufficient to satisfy any professional development requirements – if you require further evidence, please contact us at

Course Trainers

Kate Craven
Angela Yorath

The course syllabus is divided into the following key topic areas:

An Introduction to International Financing
    •    The Primary Markets
    •    Debt & Equity Capital Markets
    •    Sources of Finance
    •    The Capital Structure
    •    Investor Considerations
    •    Risk & Return
Forms of Issuance
    •    The Loan Market
    •    Syndicated Loans
    •    Equity
    •    Bonds     
    •    Green, Social & Sustainability Financing
Syndication & Distribution
    •    Accessing the Markets
    •    The DCM Deal Process
    •    Geographical Considerations
    •    Allocation & Pricing
    •    Stabilisation
    •    Listing, Closing & Settlement
The Regulatory Framework
    •    Key Parties & Key Documentation
    •    The Prospectus
    •    Compliance
    •    Regulation & Other Considerations
    •    MiFID & MiFID II

Online Course

Delegates who sign up to online courses will have access for 6 months to enable them to take advantage of the additional online resources, discussion boards and other functions of our new digital learning platform.

Online courses start at the beginning of each month – please note that payment must be received BEFORE access to these courses are provided.

Online course fees

ICMA Members: EUR 1,300 (VAT not applicable)
Non-members: EUR 1,900 (VAT not applicable)

Costs include full access to the online campus, associated learning materials and the examination fee.


Please note that:
  • Payment for online courses must be received before the start of the course.
  • All payments must be made in Euro.


Should you have any queries, please contact

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