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Thursday, July 25, 2024
HomeBankDo bigger bond trades price extra to execute? – Financial institution Underground

Do bigger bond trades price extra to execute? – Financial institution Underground


Gábor Pintér

Are bigger trades roughly costly to execute in bond markets than smaller trades? That is an previous and unsettled query within the literature on monetary markets. The purpose of this weblog submit is to offer novel solutions to this query, primarily based on our current analysis utilizing transaction-level knowledge from the UK authorities and company bond markets, over the interval 2011–17.[1]

What does earlier analysis say in regards to the size-cost relation?

The present empirical proof reveals that bigger trades incur decrease buying and selling prices (‘dimension low cost’) in numerous over-the-counter (OTC) monetary markets similar to the marketplace for authorities bonds and company bonds amongst many others. The scale low cost is in line with theories of bilateral buying and selling with imperfect competitors. They predict that bigger trades get extra beneficial costs as a result of sellers’ bargaining energy decreases within the dimension of their shoppers, and bigger shoppers are likely to commerce bigger quantities. Nonetheless, theories of data asymmetry and stock imbalances predict ‘dimension penalty’, in that bigger trades can be executed at much less beneficial costs. That’s due to sellers’ worry of being adversely chosen by the knowledgeable shoppers or due to sellers’ extra stock prices when managing a bigger commerce. To sum up, theories of bargaining give contrasting predictions on the size-cost relation in comparison with theories of informational asymmetry and stock imbalances. This has generated some rigidity within the literature.

New proof on the size-cost relation

Our analysis reconciles a few of this rigidity on this literature by offering a brand new decomposition of the size-cost relation. Particularly, we estimate i) how buying and selling prices range throughout shoppers (‘cross-client variation’) and ii) how buying and selling prices range throughout trades of various sizes for a similar consumer (‘within-client variation’). We’re in a position to do that decomposition as a result of our distinctive dataset incorporates the identities of counterparties for nearly all secondary market transactions within the UK bond markets. This enables us to differentiate between client-specific traits (similar to merchants’ dimension and kind) and transaction-specific traits (similar to commerce dimension) in figuring out buying and selling prices.

We use easy panel knowledge strategies, whereby we regress shoppers’ buying and selling prices on commerce sizes and numerous management variables, utilizing all accessible client-dealer trades. We compute shoppers’ buying and selling prices (measured in foundation factors) because the distinction between the transaction costs and a benchmark value (measured as the common transaction value). We discover that bigger trades get decrease buying and selling prices than smaller trades, thereby corroborating the earlier literature on the ‘dimension low cost’. Nonetheless, we discover that buying and selling prices improve in commerce dimension as soon as we management for shoppers’ identities, producing a ‘dimension penalty’. These two findings are illustrated in Chart 1, which reveals the connection between commerce dimension and buying and selling prices in authorities bonds from two totally different mannequin specs. 

Chart 1: The relation between commerce dimension and buying and selling prices within the gilt market (2011–17)

The left panel of Chart 1 plots the fitted linear regression line from a pooled regression of buying and selling prices on commerce dimension. The trade-level regression reveals that bigger trades incur decrease buying and selling prices, in line with the findings of dimension low cost in different OTC markets. Our novel contribution is to isolate the within-client variation within the size-cost relation. The fitting panel of Chart 1 reveals the regression line after eradicating the client-specific common from buying and selling prices and commerce dimension, giving rise to a dimension penalty. This means that the dimensions low cost is pushed by the cross-client variation, as bigger shoppers with extra pricing energy are in a position to achieve decrease buying and selling prices. The scale penalty is pushed by the within-client variation of the identical dealer dealing with increased buying and selling prices when managing bigger trades.

What drives the dimensions penalty?

Our analysis additionally gives evaluation of the determinants of the dimensions penalty in additional element. For instance, we present that the dimensions penalty is bigger for hedge funds and asset managers, and it’s smaller for pension funds, overseas central banks and insurance coverage firms. Furthermore, the dimensions penalty, confronted by hedge funds and asset managers, is bigger throughout informationally intensive intervals similar to buying and selling days that coincide with the arrival of huge macroeconomic shocks. In distinction, the dimensions penalty confronted by different shoppers is analogous throughout buying and selling days regardless of the magnitude of macroeconomic shocks on the time. As well as, the dimensions penalty is bigger in company bonds than in authorities bonds, and, importantly, this distinction is extra pronounced amongst hedge funds and asset managers in comparison with different shoppers.

Our analysis additionally compares the dimensions penalty throughout the UK gilt and US Treasury markets. On condition that the US Treasury market is bigger, deeper and extra liquid than the UK gilt market, each inventory-based theories and information-based theories would predict a smaller dimension penalty in US Treasuries. The outcomes are in line with these predictions: the dimensions penalty in US Treasuries is estimated to be about thrice as small as in UK gilts.

Taken collectively, these outcomes are interpreted as proof that information-based explanations contribute to the heterogeneity in dimension penalty. To the extent that hedge funds and asset managers usually tend to commerce on data than different shoppers, the differential diploma of dimension penalty throughout consumer varieties, is in line with theories of uneven data. These theories predict that bigger trades (particularly these of hedge funds) usually tend to be informational, in order that sellers rationally cost increased execution prices on these trades to be able to be compensated for hostile choice threat.

Why does the size-cost relation matter?

There are numerous dimensions of market liquidity such because the bargaining energy and steadiness sheet constraints of sellers, the value impression of knowledgeable buying and selling amongst others. Observing the identities of shoppers (and their transaction costs) in bond markets may help disentangle these totally different dimensions of liquidity and provides us a greater understanding on how costs are decided in OTC markets usually.

For instance, if one goals to study in regards to the function of sellers’ market energy in shaping market liquidity, then one might evaluate the transaction costs of several types of shoppers (eg small retail shoppers versus massive asset managers). If, then again, one goals to grasp the value impression of knowledgeable buying and selling, then one ought to evaluate the transaction costs for small and bigger trades initiated by the identical sensible investor (eg a star hedge fund). Our outcomes present that each channels appear to contribute to variation in bond market spreads.


Gábor Pintér works within the Centre For Central Banking Research throughout the Financial institution.

If you wish to get in contact, please electronic mail us at bankunderground@bankofengland.co.uk or depart a remark beneath.

Feedback will solely seem as soon as authorised by a moderator, and are solely printed the place a full title is provided. Financial institution Underground is a weblog for Financial institution of England workers to share views that problem – or assist – prevailing coverage orthodoxies. The views expressed listed here are these of the authors, and aren’t essentially these of the Financial institution of England, or its coverage committees.


[1] The outcomes might subsequently not be consultant of present market liquidity and dynamics.

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