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Does Market Transparency Matter? A Case Study

In: Market Liquidity: Research Findings and Selected Policy Implications

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  • Antonio Scalia

    (Bank of Italy)

  • Valerio Vacca

    (Bank of Italy)

Abstract

We analyse a change in the degree of transparency of MTS, the electronic inter-dealer market for Italian Government bonds, namely the July 1997 move to the anonymity of quotes. Our evidence supports the hypothesis that a decrease in transparency makes liquidity traders worse-off, whereas large/informed traders find it less costly to execute block trades. The evidence is also consistent with the “waiting game” hypothesis of Foster and Viswanathan (1996): under anonymity, traders tend to delay their trades in an attempt to acquire information through the order flow. From a public welfare perspective, our results indicate that the move to anonymity has been accompanied by an increase in market liquidity and by a reduction in volatility, a phenomenon that is also partly explained by the growth in Italy’s prospects for early participation in the EMU. The speed of information aggregation on MTS increases, as shown by an improvement of the MTS lead over the futures market. In a European perspective, the current organisation and performance of MTS place the market in a competitive position with respect to other sovereign bond markets and may contribute to their integration under the single currency.

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This chapter was published in:

  • Bank for International Settlements, 1999. "Market Liquidity: Research Findings and Selected Policy Implications," CGFS Papers, Bank for International Settlements, number 11, March.
    This item is provided by Bank for International Settlements in its series CGFS Papers chapters with number 11-14.

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    1. Lyons, Richard K., 1995. "Tests of microstructural hypotheses in the foreign exchange market," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2-3), pages 321-351.
    2. Foster, F Douglas & Viswanathan, S, 1996. " Strategic Trading When Agents Forecast the Forecasts of Others," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(4), pages 1437-78, September.
    3. Scalia, Antonio, 1998. "Information transmission and causality in the Italian Treasury bond market," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 361-384, October.
    4. Grossman, Sanford J, 1988. "An Analysis of the Implications for Stock and Futures Price Volatility of Program Trading and Dynamic Hedging Strategies," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 61(3), pages 275-98, July.
    5. Robert N. McCauley & William R. White, 1997. "The Euro and European financial markets," BIS Working Papers 41, Bank for International Settlements.
    6. Foster, F Douglas & Viswanathan, S, 1993. " Variations in Trading Volume, Return Volatility, and Trading Costs: Evidence on Recent Price Formation Models," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(1), pages 187-211, March.
    7. Fama, Eugene F, 1970. "Efficient Capital Markets: A Review of Theory and Empirical Work," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 25(2), pages 383-417, May.
    8. Domowitz, Ian, 1990. "The mechanics of automated trade execution systems," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 167-194, June.
    9. Michael J. Fleming & Eli M. Remolona, 1997. "Price formation and liquidity in the U.S. Treasury market: evidence from intraday patterns around announcements," Staff Reports 27, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    10. Julian Franks & Stephen Schaefer, 1995. "Equity Market Transparency On The London Stock Exchange," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 8(1), pages 70-78.
    11. Madhavan, Ananth, 1995. "Consolidation, Fragmentation, and the Disclosure of Trading Information," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 8(3), pages 579-603.
    12. Forster, Margaret M. & George, Thomas J., 1992. "Anonymity in securities markets," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 168-206, June.
    13. Hasbrouck, Joel, 1991. " Measuring the Information Content of Stock Trades," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(1), pages 179-207, March.
    14. Peter Dattels, 1995. "The Microstructure of Government Securities Markets," IMF Working Papers 95/117, International Monetary Fund.
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    Cited by:
    1. Alessandro Girardi & Claudio Impenna, 2013. "Price discovery in the Italian sovereign bonds market: the role of order flow," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 906, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    2. Guglielmo Maria Caporale & Alessandro Girardi & Paolo Paesani, 2010. "Quoted Spreads and Trade Imbalance Dynamics in the European Treasury Bond Market," CESifo Working Paper Series 3281, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Coluzzi, Chiara & Ginebri, Sergio & Turco, Manuel, 2008. "Measuring and Analyzing the Liquidity of the Italian Treasury Security Wholesale Secondary Market," Economics & Statistics Discussion Papers esdp08044, University of Molise, Dept. EGSeI.
    4. José Ramón Martínez-Resano, 2005. "Size and heterogeneity matter. A microstructure-based analysis of regulation of secondary markets for governments bonds," Banco de Espa�a Occasional Papers 0501, Banco de Espa�a.
    5. Paola Paiardini, 2009. "Informed Trading in Parallel Bond Markets," Birkbeck Working Papers in Economics and Finance 0908, Birkbeck, Department of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics.
    6. Guglielmo Maria Caporale & Alessandro Girardi, 2011. "Price Discovery and Trade Fragmentation in a Multi-Market Environment: Evidence from the MTS System," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1139, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    7. Peter G. Dunne & Michael J. Moore & Richard Portes, 2002. "Defining Benchmark Status: An Application using Euro-Area Bonds," NBER Working Papers 9087, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. J.Ramon Martinez-Resano, 2005. "Size And Heterogeneity Matter. A Microstructure-Based Analysis Of Regulation Of Secondary Markets For Government Bonds," Finance 0508007, EconWPA.
    9. Coluzzi, Chiara & Ginebri, Sergio, 2008. "Order Dynamics in the Italian Treasury Security Wholesale Secondary Market," Economics & Statistics Discussion Papers esdp08050, University of Molise, Dept. EGSeI.

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