Why Asia's bond traders are heading online

Structural market changes and the onset of Mifid II are driving a move to online bond trading even in Asia.

Buying and selling bonds, especially corporate bonds, remains a largely old-fashioned business in Asia, even as the region’s stock of debt denominated in hard currencies continues to expand, with issuance so far this year at another record high.

At present, there is in Asia more than $1.4 trillion-worth of so-called G3 debt that’s bonds denominated in US dollars, euros, and yen Dealogic data shows. Yet many are held to maturity and a vast amount only trades occasionally.

Bankers FinanceAsia has spoken to estimate that 90% of the Asian G3 bonds, both sovereign and corporate, trade less than five times a year.

However,...

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