Merrill Lynch extends global reach

Merrill Lynch extended its global debt indices to Asia this week in a new bid to capture the investor high ground.

Investment banks regard proprietary indices as one of their key weapons in the battle to win over investors, and while both Chase and HSBC already have functioning Asian-based indices, neither is said to have Merrill Lynch's global reach, transparency or customization abilities.

Says Phil Galdi, managing director of Merrill Lynch's portfolio strategy and index group Many index compilers have either specialized in one market or if they do operate across different markets, they tend to keep each one separate.

To date, only Lehman Bros, Salomon Smith Barney and to a lesser extend JP Morgan have begun building global platforms, but none have got as far as we have in terms of full...

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