Sri Lanka’s electronic bonds off to a flying start

June 8, 2006 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s new electronic platform which trades government bonds has generated 7.1 billion rupees worth of trades since its soft launch on May 24, officials said Thursday. Bloomberg, a financial market specialist who developed the software says, the trading system ensures transparency and brings in price discovery when government securities are traded.

Prior to the e-bond trading platform — known as Lanka Primary Dealer Bloomberg BondTrader or LPBT – sales of government securities in the secondary market took place through brokers and telephones.

Traders can now punch in firm quotes and execute the transactions anonymously without any additional costs.

“The response has been good as market participants here begin to get a feel of it. Today we hit the highest single trade in a day of 850 million rupees,” Liana Seah of Bloomberg told capital market players during a formal launch.

Costs for a single Bloomberg terminal starts at around 1,700 dollars, with prices going down to 1,400 dollars for the second terminal each month.

Bloomberg has thrown in the e-bond system free with each terminal, which comes equipped with a host of data and news useful for foreign exchange, fixed income, equities and historical analysis.

The e-bond trading platform was launched in Singapore and Sri Lanka became the second country to embrace the system last month. “We are currently talking to the Central Bank here to develop other products and services,” Seah said.