ICMA, with a number of other trade associations, commissioned the Centre for Economic Policy Research to carry out two independent academic studies, which were published in May 2006:
European Corporate Bond Markets: transparency, liquidity and efficiency
European Government Bond Markets: Transparency liquidity and efficiency
Professor Bruno Biais of the University of Toulouse led the research on corporate bond markets. Professor Richard Portes of the London Business School led the research on government bond markets.
Both studies present original analysis of previously under-researched markets. The Biais study on corporate bond markets concluded that imposing pre-trade transparency via regulation would be risky, as it would require significant changes to the microstructure of the market, and that greater post-trade transparency would benefit some market participants but should be designed and implemented carefully and be market-led if possible. The Portes study on government bond markets concluded that the regulatory imposition of greater transparency could adversely affect liquidity in the government bond markets
ICMA also commissioned the Centre for Economic Policy Research to carry out a further independent academic study on the high yield corporate bond markets in Europe which was published in March 2007:
European High Yield Bond Markets: transparency, liquidity, efficiency
Professor Bruni Biais led this further research. This research complements the earlier 2006 Biais and Portes studies. It is the first empirical study into European high yield bond markets. Recognising that high yield corporate bond markets play an important role in the financial system, the study was designed to investigate the extent to which the secondary market operates efficiently and transparently and meets the needs of different market participants, including investors.
See also Europe's Hidden Capital Markets.