iBoxx to launch new European bond market ‘liquid indices’

IBoxx, a joint venture between seven investment banks and Deutsche Börse set up to create bond indexes, will introduce 25 ‘liquid indices’ in October. These will form the basis for exchange-traded and over-the-counter derivatives, as well as exchange-traded funds, said iBoxx representatives.

The indexes cover only a small number of what iBoxx claims are highly liquid bonds. They are designed to appeal to institutional investors and to serve as benchmark indexes for securities trading. The 25 indexes will comprise euro-denominated corporate bonds, government bonds and sub-sovereigns.

“Because they cover only a small number of highly liquid bonds, the tracking and hedging costs for banks that set up products on the indexes will be reduced,” said David Mark, iBoxx chief executive.

To be included in the index, the remaining time to maturity for the bond must be at least 1.5 years and the amount outstanding at least €1 billion for corporate bonds and €2 billion for sovereign bonds.

ABN Amro, Barclays Capital, BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, Morgan Stanley and UBS Warburg supply bid and ask quotes on a continuous basis to Deutsche Börse as part of the iBoxx venture. The German exchange then calculates the consolidated prices and indexes from the data and distributes it in real time to traders.

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