May 02, 2018

ESMA published its first liquidity assessment for bonds subject to the pre- and post-trade requirements of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) and Regulation (MiFIR). ESMA will update its bond market liquidity assessments quarterly. MiFID II became applicable on January 03, 2018 introducing, among others, the pre- and post-trade transparency requirements for equity and non-equity instruments, including for bonds.

ESMA’s assessment of the European bond market for the first quarter of 2018 found 220 bonds (out of 71,000  for which the assessment was executed) to be sufficiently liquid to be subject to MiFID II’s real-time transparency requirements. The full list of liquid bonds is available through ESMA’s Financial Instruments Transparency System (FITRS). However, additional data and corrections submitted to ESMA may result in further updates within each quarter, published in FITRS (which shall be applicable the day following publication). The transparency requirements for bonds deemed liquid today will apply from May 16, 2018 to August 15, 2018, the date from which the next quarterly assessment, to be published on August 01, 2018, will become applicable. The transitional liquidity assessment for bond instruments (except ETCs and ETNs) will cease to apply from May 16, 2018.

The ESMA liquidity assessment for bonds is based on a quarterly assessment of quantitative liquidity criteria, such as the daily average trading activity (trades and notional amounts) and number of days traded per quarter. The quality of ESMA’s assessment depends on the data submitted to ESMA: the data received so far, for the first quarter of 2018, is not fully complete for most instruments. These data completeness and quality issues result in a lower number of liquid instruments identified compared to ESMA’s earlier transitional transparency calculations.

 

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Keywords: Europe, EU, Securities, MiFID, MiFIR, Pre-trade Transparency, Post-trade Transparency, Bond Liquidity, FITRS, ESMA

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