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The liquidity of dual-listed corporate bonds: empirical evidence from Italian markets

MODENA, MATTEO and LINCIANO, NADIA and GENTILE, MONICA and FANCELLO, FRANCESCO (2014): The liquidity of dual-listed corporate bonds: empirical evidence from Italian markets.

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We compute some indicators (zero-trade, turnover ratio, Amihud price impact, and Roll bid-ask spread) to examine the liquidity conditions of corporate bonds traded on the main Italian retail bond markets from January 2010 to June 2013. In order to compare market liquidity for identical securities, our analysis focuses on fragmented bonds, i.e. bonds traded concurrently on two different venues: either DomesticMOT and EuroTLX, or ExtraMOT and EuroTLX. As for bonds traded on DomesticMOT and EuroTLX, the Amihud and the Roll statistics suggest EuroTLX being more liquid. Moreover, irrespective of the trading venue, on average bank bonds are less liquid than bonds issued by non-financial companies, especially from 2011 due to the impact of the sovereign debt crisis. With regard to bonds traded across ExtraMOT and EuroTLX, the latter is characterized by better liquidity conditions, with bank bonds being more liquid than non-financial ones. Furthermore, we find evidence of better liquidity figures for Italian bonds (nationality), structured bonds (complexity), and securities with greater minimum trading size (MTS). We also find that bonds’ features (issuers’ nationality and industry; bonds’ residual maturity, complexity, rating, etc…) affect liquidity differently depending upon the trading venue, thus supporting the view that market microstructure may play a relevant role. Finally, we investigate the effect of fragmentation by comparing the liquidity of dual-listed bank bonds fragmented across DomesticMOT and EuroTLX with otherwise similar bank bonds traded exclusively on DomesticMOT. Italian fragmented bank bonds turn out to be slightly more liquid than similar Italian bonds traded exclusively on DomesticMOT; whereas, the opposite holds for foreign bank bonds. However, overall there is not a clear-cut evidence on the effect of fragmentation on bond liquidity, probably because it is intertwined with bonds’ attributes, such as the issue size (in our sample, higher for the Italian bank bonds).

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