Crunch wakes US to CDS e-trading
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BANKING

Crunch wakes US to CDS e-trading

Put off by past experience, but the consensus is that its time has come.

Mazy Dar, Creditex

"The European market has been the beneficiary of its ability to match buyers and sellers, and to print tickets automatically. When markets are volatile, having certainty of execution is invaluable"
Mazy Dar, Creditex

The level of operating efficiency attainable through electronic trading has proved invaluable to dealers. In Europe, this can be seen keenly in the credit default swap market. Creditex, which along with GFI and Icap holds a 90% share of the European inter-dealer market, executed more than $2.5 trillion in notional value of CDS transactions last year alone. Electronic trading now accounts for more than 45% of inter-dealer transactions in Europe. "There has been a lot of progress in Europe," says Mazy Dar, chief strategy officer at Creditex. "Since early 2004, electronic CDS trading has been growing consistently."

Surprisingly, though, the US has not followed Europe in this. Electronic derivatives trading was launched in the US three years ago but, against expectations born of experience in the European market, it was not widely embraced.

Certainty is invaluable

Inter-dealer brokers have had a Europe-first approach to electronic derivatives trading. Creditex pioneered CDS e-trading in Europe in February 2004, launching its RealTime platform for trading CDS indices in the days before iTraxx.

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