MarketAxess, Eze Software, LSE and more …

Fixed-income trading platform MarketAxess has launched a new liquidity index for the European corporate bond market.

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MarketAxess launches new bond index

Fixed-income trading platform MarketAxess has launched a new liquidity index for the European corporate bond market.

The European Bid-Ask Spread Index (BASI) details analysis of European bond prices over time and serves as a broad indicator of market liquidity and implied transaction costs. It follows an index launch in the US last year.

The index comprises data from euro- and sterling-denominated high-grade and high-yield corporate bonds, and can be calculated on a daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly basis.

“Our new European index utilises data available from Xtrakter to track credit market cycles and help inform market participants’ research and analysis,” Alex Sedgwick, head of MarketAxess research, said.

Xtrakter, a pre- and post-trade reporting frim, was acquired by MarketAxess in March last year.

Eze Software expands globally

Technology provider Eze Software Group has reported record growth for its three integrated product lines in the first year of operations under the brand.

In 2013, Eze Software signed 83 Eze OMS clients, 54 new Tradar PMS clients and 230 new RealTick EMS institutional clients across all major market regions, experiencing significant growth in Asia Pacific and Latin America. 

“This has been an extremely successful year for Eze Software Group on a number of levels,” Jeffrey Shoreman, co-president of Eze Software Group, said. “We continue to invest across our fully integrated product suite, working in partnership with our clients to develop the cutting-edge solutions that best suit their unique business needs.”

LSE extends African reach with CheetahFIX

The London Stock Exchange (LSE) has signed a deal that will extend the availability of its electronic trading services and products in Africa.

The LSEHub, the LSE’s FIX-enabled routing and connectivity service, will connect to CheetahFIX Orb Network, a platform-agnostic FIX messaging network operated as a joint venture by Tauri Software Systems and Rapid Addition, the FIX solutions provider.

The CheetahFIX Orb Network provides a FIX-based routing solution in South Africa, across the African continent and globally. The firms hope the tie-up between the LSE and CheetahFIX will increase trading volumes between London and Johannesburg and beyond by offering electronic trading capabilities in Africa at a lower cost.

“This collaboration provides existing and new Orb members the ability to connect to hundreds of buy- and sell-side institutions in a reliable and cost effective manner,” said Kevin Smith, director, CheetahFIX, adding that connections to other networks were planned.  

“Having a local South African FIX network that can empower more companies to use the FIX messaging protocol will benefit the entire financial marketplace,” said Katherine Lachelin, LSEHub product manager. 

Graduates lack skills to succeed in finance sector

Insufficient numbers of graduates with the necessary skills to thrive in financial services are entering the industry, according to a survey by MathWorks, the software developer behind the MATLAB programming environment.  

The survey highlighted a need for graduates with a strong combination of maths and IT skills and experience of “real-world” problem solving, with 62% of respondents acknowledging a skills gap in the financial services industry and 34% claiming the situation had got worse in the last three years. 

Potential solutions to the skills gap cited by survey respondents included closer collaboration between academia and industry and combining multiple science, technology, engineering and maths subjects “to merge theory and application and provide a strong basis in data analytics”.

The survey was based on 43 in-person interviews conducted in London, largely with representatives of firms with a global presence, including hedge funds, banks, broker-dealers, institutional investors and academics. 

“Science, technology and maths skills are fundamental for students taking up careers in the financial services industry that now demands strong data analytics. Industry and academia need to work together to address this problem and ensure students are well prepared for their future careers by understanding the needs of industry and reflecting this in curricula,” said Steve Wilcockson, industry manager, financial services, MathWorks.

Markit provides China Life with EDM platform

China Life Asset Management Company (CLAMC) has selected data solutions provider Markit for its entreprise data management (EDM) needs. Markit’s EDM platform will act as a central hub for the firm’s securities, pricing, positions and transaction data. 

Daniel Simpon, managing director and head of enterprise software at Markit, said the deal was a sign of growth opportunities in the Asian market.

“Our insurance asset management credentials, experience with the software platforms used by CLAMC and local presence were deciding factors in our successful bid,” he said. “When we started our operations in Asia, we committed for the long term and we are delighted to be working with such a prestigious financial institution in China.”

CLAMC is the largest institutional investor in China’s capital markets with US$300 billion in asset under management.

SunGard’s Front Arena supports SHUAA Capital

Dubai-based sell-side firm SHUAA Capital will use SunGard’s Front Arena platform to boost its sales and trading capabilities in the region.

The platform provides integrated access to regional and global markets.

In a statement, SHUAA Capital said the deal would position the firm to capitalise on changes to market structure in the Middle East, including the growth of market making, direct market access and algorithmic trading.

“Domestic and international investors are increasingly looking for automated and transparent trade execution, whether in equities, fixed income or derivatives, which we are now able to offer along with SunGard,” said HH Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Al Maktoum, executive chairman of SHUAA Capital.