Market View : New Asian Bond Trading Platform Is Bad News

FT reports that SGX, Banks Discuss Starting Asian Corporate-Bond Platform.

The banks, asset mgrs include UBS, Schroders and Alliance Bernstein.

My initial assessment is that it is bad for current investors and good for future market participants.

Reasons :

1. SGD bond market is mostly non transparent which means that prices do not exist for trading but more for revaluing portfolios.

When actual price discovery occurs, many papers marked at 100 would probably be adjusted to fair value.

2. Most SGD bonds are priced too tightly in their initial offering because of lack of competition.

When more participants enter the marketplace, pricing will veer towards international levels and many of our local corps have been getting away with near investment grade pricing.

What will probably happen would be it shall start with perhaps a daily closing price because there really is not enough volume to justify the migration to a trading platform.

The G3 currency bonds will move onto the new platform which will give savvy SGD investors ample time to reassess their options until then.

Good luck !