Garbi makes his wishes clear
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Garbi makes his wishes clear

Nearly six months ago, the MTS bond markets were offered a shortlist of clearing houses. It should be a simple choice between the London Clearing House and Clearnet but the process is dragging on. The cause of this delay may be that Gianluca Garbi, CEO of EuroMTS, is trying to force decisions in Clearnet’s favour.

Gianluca Garbi: 'My mission is to
do the best for the market'

"This is a very personal issue for Garbi," whispers one market observer, who does not wish to be named. "EuroMTS is his personal fiefdom. The idea of sharing power with a clearing house is one that he just couldn't stomach."

This is not the sort of language normally associated with clearing - the essential but unglamorous plumbing that makes liquid markets work. But it has recently become a more exciting issue. Put simply, bonds that trade in a cleared environment trade better. So when the successful electronic bond trading platform EuroMTS announced that it was going to introduce clearing for its national markets, brokers welcomed the news.

Few could have predicted that this simple choice would become contentious. Now the debate seems to be pitting big bank against small, or even, if you believe the hype, Europe against the US.

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