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Julien Mazzacurati

17 June 2019
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 95
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Abstract
Using a sample of more than 18,000 Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities,or UCITS, this paper aims to provide a first overview of the use of credit default swaps by EU UCITSfunds. We show that UCITS funds only account for a small share of the overall EU credit derivativesmarket. The CDS market is highly concentrated, with thirteen large dealers acting as counterparty to thevast majority of CDS transactions that involve UCITS funds. The use of CDS by UCITS is mainlyconcentrated in fixed-income funds and funds that rely on so-called alternative strategies. Funds that useCDS tend to be much larger on average. The analysis also reveals three salient features in the UCITSfunds’ use of CDS. Firstly, funds with directional strategies, such as fixed-income and allocation funds (ormixed funds), are on aggregate net sellers of CDS. Secondly, a large majority of CDS underlyings areindices, from which funds can gain exposure to multiple entities at once within one sector or region.Lastly, most sovereign single-name CDS are written on emerging market issuers, highlighting the rolethat these instruments can play in facilitating access to less liquid markets.
JEL Code
F30 : International Economics→International Finance→General
G10 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→General
G15 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→International Financial Markets
G23 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Non-bank Financial Institutions, Financial Instruments, Institutional Investors
20 October 2017
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 55
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Abstract
Collateral plays a very important role in financial markets. Without easy access to high-quality collateral, dealers and market participants would find it more costly to trade, with a negative impact on market liquidity and the real economy through increased financing costs. The role of collateral has become increasingly significant since the global financial crisis, partly due to regulatory reforms. Using bond-level data from both repo and securities lending markets, this paper introduces a new measure of collateral reuse and studies the drivers of the cost of obtaining high-quality collateral, i.e. the collateral scarcity premium, proxied by specialness of government bond repos. We find that the cost of obtaining high-quality collateral increases with demand pressures in the cash market (short-selling activities), even in calm financial market conditions. In bear market conditions ‒ when good collateral is needed the most ‒ this could lead to tensions in some asset market segments. Collateral reuse may alleviate some of these tensions by reducing the collateral scarcity premia. Yet, it requires transparency and monitoring due to the financial stability risks associated. Finally, we find that the launch of the ECB quantitative easing programme has a statistically significant, albeit limited, impact on sovereign collateral scarcity premia, but this impact is offset by the beginning of the ECB Securities Lending Programme.
JEL Code
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
G12 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Asset Pricing, Trading Volume, Bond Interest Rates
G23 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Non-bank Financial Institutions, Financial Instruments, Institutional Investors
23 September 2014
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 6
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Abstract
Securities financing transaction (SFT) markets and the management and usage of collateral are elements of the financial system which are of systemic relevance. As such, there is a clear need for enhanced transparency and regulatory oversight. The European Systemic Risk board (ESRB) mandated a task force to identify the potential risks related to SFTs in Europe and to develop policy proposals to better monitor any vulnerabilities identified by the analysis. This report presents the results of two data collection exercises that were conducted to gain some initial insights into the structure of the SFT market and the correlated practices adopted by market participants concerning the re-investment or the re-use of the collateral sourced through SFTs or via equivalent transactions. A description of this landscape is, in fact, crucial as a first step in assessing the risks emanating from the cash and securities collateral markets and their potential implications for macro-prudential policy in Europe. By providing a description of the SFT landscape, the data collection exercises undertaken by the ESRB have a macro-prudential dimension in that they provide data at an aggregated level. The first data collection exercise encompassed a sample of 38 EU banks, representing approximately 60% of the EU banking system’s total assets. The institutions covered by this sample are the main players in the management of securities collateral. The second data collection targeted 13 agent lenders that are considered to be the largest re-investors of cash collateral in Europe. The sample period of the data is fixed at the end of February 2013. The ESRB templates yielded a unique set of data on the sources and use of securities collateral (non-cash collateral) by banks, as well as on the re-investment of cash collateral by agent lenders. The data collections were intended to fit in the broader policy context initiated by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) and the resulting analyses ultimately address a number of theFSB’s recommendations. The first element of the analysis in this report is specifically related to the FSB’s fourth recommendation (disclosure of collateral management activities) (FSB, 2013) and, to a certain extent, to the first recommendation (authorities to collect granular information on SFTs of large international financial institutions). The second element is similarly related to the first of the FSB’s recommendations, but also the sixth, which requests better disclosure ofsecurities lending activities. The analysis contained thereafter is relevant for the European Commission’s proposal on the reporting of SFTs to trade repositories (EC, 2014), which will greatly enhance transparency and regulatory oversight of SFT activities in the European Union. Finally, the report is in line with the ESRB’s outline of a monitoring framework (ESRB, 2013).
JEL Code
G15 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→International Financial Markets
G18 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Government Policy and Regulation