Wednesday 21 November 2018

Surge of state bonds posted in error by Exchange

Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

THE Irish Stock Exchange has been forced to issue a correction after it reported figures to the market that suggested a surge in trading in government bonds on Tuesday.

Figures initially released by the exchange appeared to show a dramatic pick up in the volume of Irish government bonds being traded -- in one case as much as 85pc of the year's volume of trades were reported to have gone through the system is a single day.

The state's current return to the bond markets means trading data about the bonds is closely watched, the apparent surge prompted speculation in the markets that a significant new investor could be moving into the space.

Analysts at Glas Securities said such a large turnover number would normally suggest new bonds were being issued by the State.

All of the attention eventually forced the Irish Stock Exchange to review and correct its data.

A spokeswoman for the Irish Stock Exchange last night accepted that an error had occurred, and that the volume of trades initially reported was incorrect.

"A system error at a member firm resulted in incorrect volumes being submitted to the ISE for September 18.

"This had a consequent impact on the overall Irish government bond turnover data," the spokeswoman said.

The data published by the Stock Exchange is compiled from trading information supplied by its members.

All primary dealers -- who make the market in Irish government bond and treasury bills are required to submit a daily report of trades to the Exchange.

The spokeswoman declined to name the member firm that caused the error.

Bond prices were not affected and once the error was identified the issue was corrected and revised turnover figures released.

Focused

The Irish Stock Exchange is best known for share trading, but is increasingly focused on listing services and trading for bonds and other investment firms for issuers in Ireland and internationally.

That is in part because traditional corporate share issuers are moving off the exchange.

Earlier this month United Drug confirmed its plans to leave Dublin for a listing in London in order to join the FTSE index.

It's a journey that has already been made by the likes of CRH, Elan, and Greencore.

The financial crisis means the banks, traditionally the mainstay of the ISEQ index of Irish shares, are now a fraction of their former size.

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