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[NEW YORK] A group of 12 global banks are working together to set up a one-stop bond shop for buyers and sellers of corporate bonds, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
The initiative, called "Neptune," will not be for executing trades, rather it will link up banks and investors in the market and potentially some of the existing trading platforms they use, the newspaper reported.
The banks, which include BNP Paribas SA, Credit Suisse Group AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc, HSBC Holdings and JP Morgan Chase & Co, are set to pay 30,000 pounds (US$47,934) each for the first phase of consultancy work, the WSJ said.
AXA Investment Managers and Schroders Plc also are involved in the discussions, the report said citing executives at those firms, alongside a dozen or so other money managers.
Bond liquidity has all but dried up for corporate issues after new regulations and capital requirements forced Wall Street banks to slash their inventories of fixed-income products following the financial crisis.
The lack of liquidity also means funds may have trouble selling bonds in the event interest rates rise and the investors who have sunk about US$1.2 trillion in net deposits into long-term bond funds since the end of 2004 head for the exits.
Neptune is the latest in a string of attempts to make corporate-bond trading more efficient. Investors have complained about a growing disparity between trading volumes in new and old bonds, the report said.
JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, BNP Paribas and HSBC did not immediately respond to emails seeking comments on the report. - Reuters