Nasdaq takes aim at equity TRSs with bespoke futures

Can custom basket forwards convince buy-side firms to ditch bilateral swaps?

Custom-basket-forwards montage

Nasdaq is the latest exchange to devise a listed alternative to equity total return swaps (TRSs), which have become costlier to trade under the non-cleared margin rules.

The new instruments, called custom basket forwards, will begin trading in the first quarter of 2023, allowing traders to gain exposure to portfolios of stocks selected from more than 1,700 names in a single derivatives contract.

Exchanges are anticipating a shift away from bilateral equity swaps and towards cleared and listed

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