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Acquires LTP Trade Data Service – Extends Loans Coverage

Markit Group Limited ("Markit"), the leading provider of independent data, portfolio valuations and OTC derivatives trade processing to the global financial and commodities markets, today announced that it has launched a Trade Finance pricing and index service to broaden further its coverage of the loan asset class in support of growing interest from customers. This service incorporates the pricing service recently acquired from LTP Trade.

Trade Finance assets are fixed income receivables that are generated in consideration of the cross border sales of goods or services. According to the World Trade Organisation, global import/exports totalled US$11 trillion in 2004 with an estimated US$4 trillion of this conducted on deferred payment terms. Trade Finance is a traditional business for banks and a fast developing area of interest among portfolio managers for investment and risk management purposes.

The Markit Trade Finance pricing service will initially comprise weekly composite spreads on emerging market countries sourced from leading market participants. In addition, Markit acts as calculation agent for the Markit Trade Finance Index, formerly the LTP Trade Finance Index. Bespoke valuations for specific trade finance assets are also offered.

James Parsons, Managing Director of LTP Trade, commented: “We are delighted that Markit has acquired the data service from LTP. As the Trade Finance area gains more appeal within the investment community, Markit will add more independence, quality and scale to this key asset class.”

Jonathan Martin, Principal at BlueCrest Capital Management Limited, said: “Trade Finance is an area that is becoming increasingly attractive to fund managers such as BlueCrest as we gain confidence in the investment opportunities. We welcome the introduction of the Markit service which reinforces this view.”

Kevin Gould, Executive Vice President and Head of Data Products and Analytics at Markit, stated: “Trade Finance is a new and exciting area of interest for our clients and fits well within our existing platform which includes syndicated loan pricing and portfolio valuation services. We are pleased to integrate LTP Trade’s data service into our suite of products and we expect our new pricing service to accelerate the development of Trade Finance as an asset class.”