BMA creates distressed debt committee

The Bond Market Association (BMA) has formed a new committee to deal with industry issues related to the trading of distressed debt. The move is aimed at creating a common set of trading protocols to facilitate the continued growth of the market – investors now hold up to $150 billion in distressed assets, according to BMA estimates.

Michael Carley, a New York-based director in the distressed debt group at Switzerland’s UBS, will chair the committee. Arthur Hahn, head of distressed debt sales at Lazard in the US will act as vice-chairman.

The 17-strong committee is holding its inaugural meeting today. Committee participants aim to establish a new code of best practice for distressed debt trading. But Carley told RiskNews the committee’s agenda was still at an “embryonic stage”.

Distressed debt includes the securities of bankrupt companies and those that have defaulted or are on the verge of default. The Bond Market Association represents firms and banks that sell and underwrite debt securities in the US and other markets.

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