Commonwealth Bank, Bank of America become equity partners in asiabondportal

Australian and New Zealand-dollar instruments to begin trading on the platform later this year.

The Commonwealth Bank Group, Australia’s second largest bank, and Bank of America have announced they will join asiabondportal.com as equity participants and providers of online prices, trading liquidity and research.
 
The two join Deutsche Bank, ABN AMRO, UBS Warburg, JPMorgan, Government of Singapore Investment Corporation and Daiwa SMBC in the multi-dealer platform that launched last October. Asiabondportal.com began by providing research and trading in US dollar-denominated bonds, including convertibles, issued by Asian entities. Since then it has expanded coverage to Hong Kong dollar, Singapore dollar, Japanese Samurai and Euroyen fixed income instruments.

“The decision by the Commonwealth Bank to join our platform puts us on track to launch trading of AUD and NZD instruments,” says asiabondportal.com's CEO Francis Tjia. “Working together with the Commonwealth Bank is an exciting new step for us that will expand our trading capabilities beyond our current product range.”

Besides government, semi-government and corporate bonds issued from Australia and New Zealand, asiabondportal.com also hopes to offer access to Kangaroo bonds - Australian currency denominated bonds issued by international companies. The new instruments will be traded on the platform later this year pending regulatory approval. Some adjustments will also be made to the trading system, says COO Tom Holland. Investors in Australian instruments "like to see things on a yield basis," he explains. "But right now we're basically focused on spread."

The asiabondportal.com system has been designed for client "buy-side" institutions in Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and the United Kingdom.  By utilizing the system, banks, insurance companies and fund managers can obtain pricing information on bonds and transact bonds on-line.
      
Asiabondportal.com claims that a number of large institutional investors have signed up and trade on the system. Although Australian entities are not presently able to access the system's capabilities, an application to allow this has been made to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. 

According to Holland an announcement will soon be made about the first non-equity holder to sign up as a participating bond dealer on the platform.