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The new Italian connection

Deal: Merger of technology platformsStructure: MTS buys 15% stake in CoredealResult: New corporate bond structure – CoredealMTS

Most EuroMTS announcements are not what you would call exciting. 'Record trading volumes on MTS Portugal' and the like don't exactly get the heart racing. But a recent joint initiative from EuroMTS and the International Securities Market Association (Isma) is rather different.

Isma has taken Coredeal, its inter-dealer credit trading platform, which lists about 5,000 corporate bonds but lacks liquidity and decent technology, and combined it with EuroMTS, which has a robust technology platform and good liquidity but no corporate bonds. The result is CoredealMTS, a bond exchange that will be ready for use in January 2002 and may one day become an open exchange for dealers, institutional investors and borrowers.

On its own, Coredeal was never a great success. Isma announced that it was going to set it up in early 1998, when banks and everyone else in the financial markets were drunk with optimism about the possibilities that technology was beginning to offer for trading. Speaking from a villa in Provence, where he was relaxing after the busy build-up to the CoredealMTS announcement, John Langton, CEO of Isma, was candid about the platform's performance. "There is no point saying that Coredeal had good volumes, because it didn't," he admits.

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