Icap offers eurobond e-broking

UK inter-dealer broker Icap has extended its e-broking offering to include euro-denominated eurobonds, but has yet to offer interest rate swaps - its dominant trading product.

Icap's Electronic Trading Community (ETC) platform went live in February 2000, offering electronic trading of US Treasuries in direct competition to Cantor Fitzgerald's eSpeed. The broker will now offer eurobonds electronically, but has maintained a 'hybrid' approach that includes voice broking. "It is capable of handling both the benchmark issues and the less liquid bonds in a single system,” said Don McClumpha, managing director of Icap electronic broking.

Gary Smith, managing director of Garban Securities, said key features included the ability to complete spread trades against different benchmark government bonds and pricing calculators that use Icap’s interest rate swap prices.

“The system will increase efficiencies in bank dealing rooms by using straight-through-processing to update banks’ risk management systems with real-time information on all voice and electronic deals,” he said.

The ETC system is already installed in 29 banks, nine of which trade electronically. Market demand will prompt any further expansion into electronic trading, said Icap.

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