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BondsInAsia Forges Link With HKMA's CMU

by Mary Swire, Investors Offshore, Hong Kong

21 October 2002

Hong Kong on-line bond-trading platform announced yesterday that it had struck a deal with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), under which the electronic platform provided by BondsInAsia will be linked to the monetary authority's central moneymarkets unit (CMU), offering instant electronic settlement of bond trades, as well as custodial services.

HKMA established the CMU in 1990. It links 28 market makers and 129 registered bond dealers, providing computerised clearing and settlement facilities for bond trades, and acting as custodian for Hong Kong dollar debt instruments.

BondsInAsia chief executive Albert Cobetto said the new tie-up would mean that transactions conducted on the BondsInAsia electronic platform will be settled instantly, as long as the parties maintain CMU accounts. "The deal is about capture and settlement," said Mr Cobetto, "By linking with CMU we are further automating the trading of Hong Kong dollar debt. That adds efficiency and reduces risk, which is what straight-through processing is all about.", which was set up in 2000 but rolled out its first services last year, has grown rapidly, taking over rival platform last May. The company says its is the leading electronic trading platform for Asian fixed income securities, with proprietary trading technology interlinking the region's leading fixed income players with major buy-side institutions. The company's technology platform allows market makers to efficiently and instantaneously trade bonds within the professional markets as well as for dealers to privately trade with their buy-side clients.

Mr Cobetto said that BondsInAsia was taking about 10% of Hong Kong bond trading, which averages about HK$100bn a day.

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