Efficient System vital for Bond Market development

Kuala Lumpur, 21 November 1996

The Managing Director of International Securities Market Association Limited (ISMA), Mr. Royston Lambert visited the Securities Commission on November 19 and presented an overview of ISMA’s experience as a successful, self-regulatory body for the Eurobond market. The talk was attended by representatives and senior officials of Bank Negara, merchant banks and other financial institutions, the stock exchange, rating agencies and clearing houses.

In his speech, Mr. Lambert highlighted the fact that, "an efficient clearing and settlement system coupled with a good code of practice are vital ingredients for the development of the bond market". ISMA was one of the driving forces that successfully implemented the shortening of settlement cycle in the European markets from T+7 to T+3 business days in June 1995. This move had brought the European markets in line with other major financial centres and helped to reduce the risks and complexities of trading across different time-zones. He also stressed the necessity of having a well-defined rule book for market participants to operate by.

ISMA also provided a demonstration of the TRAX system, a real-time trading confirmation and settlement system developed by ISMA and launched in January 1989. "TRAX has more than 300 subscribers spanning sixteen different countries. It basically supports matching and confirmation on a wide range of instruments such as derivatives, domestic bonds and equities". Following the success of TRAX, ISMA was awarded the contract to provide quotation, trade matching and confirmation, and regulatory reporting system to EASDAQ - the new Pan-European exchange for high growth stocks. The system is expected to be an enhanced version of the TRAX system as it will include a front-end quotation system for market makers.

ISMA is a Zurich based, self-regulatory body and trade association for the international securities market that has played a major role in providing a regulatory framework for the growth and development of cross-border trading in the Eurobond market, a market that is relatively unregulated. At the end of 1995, the size of the Eurobond market stood at USD1,478 billion with combined market turnover rising to record levels of USD34.4 trillion.

ISMA’s main objective is to oversee the orderly functioning of the market and to represent the interests of its members on issues that affect the market. ISMA members comprise of large and small securities houses which represent a wide cross-section of firms involved in international trading activities. As at end 1995, ISMA membership stood at more than 830 firms spanning 45 countries world-wide.


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