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Banking

Best site for Euro-commercial paper

Best site for Euro-commercial paper
UBS Warburg

“You can’t yet build a website, sack two-thirds of the staff and say ‘talk to the machine’. Flexibility and negotiation are key to ECP, and it doesn’t lend itself to online execution.” So says a representative of a firm that has not won this award.

Certainly, Euro-commercial paper relies heavily on phone conversations between issuers, banks and investors. But that is often used as an excuse for not building a site. In fact, ECP lends itself to the internet well, giving investors the chance to sort paper in a way that would take hours to do manually and would be inflexible and ugly on Bloomberg systems.

UBS Warburg launched its ECP site in April 1999 – months ahead of the competition. Since then it says that it has increased its market share of ECP trading from 14% at launch to over 20%. It trades about $1 billion of ECP a day. But some users are more interested in the sorting functions than in the execution. One user says: “The best thing about it is going through and sorting issues, finding the best levels. The site does all the work for you, and it is very user friendly.”

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