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A Tale of Two Platforms: Dealer Intermediation in the European Sovereign Bond Market

  • Dunne, Peter
  • Hau, Harald
  • Moore, Michael

Interdealer trading in the European sovereign bond market is characterized by low spreads and high liquidity. This paper examines whether the dealer-customer segment of the market also benefits from low spreads. Customers are smaller banks and buy-side financial institutions who request quotes from primary dealers. They generally do not enjoy access to the interdealer trading platform. Surprisingly, we find that customer trades are on average competitively priced and often occur inside the interdealer spread. Moreover, higher market volatility increases interdealer spreads more than customer spreads. The theoretical part of the paper develops a new dynamic model of dealer intermediation which captures the segmented market structure of the European bond market. The model explains differences in the volatility dependence of interdealer and customer spreads. The predicted inventory dependence of customer trade quality is also confirmed in the data.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6969.

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Date of creation: Sep 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6969
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  1. Peter G. Dunne & Michael J. Moore & Richard Portes, 2007. "Benchmark Status in Fixed-Income Asset Markets," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(9-10), pages 1615-1634.
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  12. Cheung, Yiu Chung & de Jong, Frank & Rindi, Barbara, 2005. "Trading European sovereign bonds: the microstructure of the MTS trading platforms," Working Paper Series 0432, European Central Bank.
  13. Michael J. Barclay & Terrence Hendershott & Kenneth Kotz, 2006. "Automation versus Intermediation: Evidence from Treasuries Going Off the Run," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(5), pages 2395-2414, October.
  14. Michael Fleming & Bruce Mizrach, 2008. "The Microstructure of a U.S. Treasury ECN: The Brokertec Platform," Departmental Working Papers 200803, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  15. Hasabrouck, Joel & Sofianos, George, 1993. " The Trades of Market Makers: An Empirical Analysis of NYSE Specialists," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(5), pages 1565-93, December.
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