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Markit, a leading provider of independent data, portfolio valuations and over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives trade processing, today announced a new freely available licence for the Markit Reference Entity Database (RED), aimed at smaller buy-side firms. Under the terms of the new licence, asset managers with light credit default swap (CDS) trading volumes that use DTCC1 Deriv/SERV for trade confirmation will gain access to market best practice in CDS trade processing.

Markit RED is the industry standard for reference entity and reference obligation identifiers used throughout the CDS market to reduce legal and operational risk in trading, documentation and trade settlement. The service uses legal representatives in over 100 countries to source and scrutinise all relevant documentation to provide subscribers with a complete understanding of each entity.

This initiative aims to support the commitments made by the Operations Management Group (OMG) to the New York Fed in March this year, and reinforces Markit’s commitment to bring greater operational efficiency to the OTC derivative markets. The OMG, which represents the major market participants, has pledged to improve OTC derivative trade processing by taking steps such as the universal use of standard reference data.

"Markit RED plays a critical role in the CDS markets. The service is used by all major market makers and the vast majority of large buy-side firms, and we are keen to encourage the broad buy-side community to adopt RED. We recognize that one size doesn’t fit all and have now developed a new licence for the smaller firms. This will allow them to operate consistently with the rest of the market, and will help the industry achieve the commitments made to the Fed in March this year,” said Ed Chidsey, Director of Markit RED.