ISMA Centre, The University of Reading To Design the MTS Fixed Income Database

London, February 3, 2003 -The MTS Scientific Committee is pleased to announce that the ISMA Centre at The University of Reading submitted the winning proposal in response to MTS’ Call for Proposals for advice and guidance in designing the MTS fixed-income database. MTS plans to use the design toward structuring a database, which will ultimately be made available commercially and to academic institutions in order to facilitate the study of the fixed-income markets.

Research teams from European universities responded to the call, presenting their conceptual approach and research experience. Three of the outline proposals were short-listed for more detailed discussions. Besides The University of Reading, other institutions involved in the short-listed teams included: the University of Amsterdam in association with the Bocconi University, Milan, and the London Business School together with Queens’ University, Belfast. The winning design effectively balances the needs of research institutions for content, data enrichment and ease of analysis with the needs of MTS for efficient production.

"MTS data represent a rich source of information on the capital markets, but the data we currently distribute are fairly raw data and therefore require work by academics to merge or enrich them," said Robert Giffords, Chief Technology Officer of MTS. "The winning proposal will make MTS data much more accessible for academic research."

For its efforts, the ISMA Centre will receive a monetary prize and free copies of the finished product under academic license for three years. MTS plans to provide the data, which will be available on CD-ROM or via the Internet later this year, under commercial terms, with special discounts for academic research. The Scientific Committee is separately reviewing proposals to provide three years of support for research institutions accessing the database. Results will be announced in mid-February.

The ISMA Centre’s winning proposal included: a large block of anonymous tick-by-tick data to be produced every few years and usable for basic research; a small summary set of data available daily online or monthly through annual CD-ROM subscription; a larger set of detailed data, with aggregate values for total liquidity and anonymous details of trades executed available monthly; reference data for each instrument traded with details including: date of bond issue, structure, issue size, date benchmark status was achieved and credit ratings of issuer.

Doctor Alfonso Dufour, Lecturer in Finance, Research Coordinator for ISMA Centre, said: "The combination of our expertise in empirical research and MTS' detailed data will produce the most comprehensive database available for research on European government bond trading. This will facilitate the production of wide ranging and reliable research which will be of value to securities firms and others interested in the efficient operation of European markets."

In addition, members of the winning team at the ISMA Centre included: Richard Comotto, Visiting Fellow; Brian Scott-Quinn, Professor in Finance, Chair in Investment Banking, Director of ISMA Centre; Frank Skinner, Reader in Finance; Simone Varotto, Lecturer in Finance.

The Evaluation Committee was comprised of members of the MTS Scientific Committee, including Professor Marco Pagano, University of Naples; Professor Ernst-Ludwig von Thadden, Lausanne University; Professor Gustavo Piga, University of Macerata; Professor Bruno Biais, University of Toulouse.

In another effort to foster the development of fixed-income research in Europe, the MTS Scientific Committee is in the process of reviewing a wealth of papers analysing financial markets submitted following its Call for Papers in 2002. Those papers selected will be presented at the first annual MTS Conference on Financial Markets at the Toulouse Business School/Toulouse University in France from 26th - 28th June 2003 at which the Fixed Income Database will also be formally launched.

A brief note to Editors:

1 MTS Scientific Committee

The MTS Scientific Committee purpose is to act as a two-way bridge between MTS and the scientific community, in three distinct but complementary ways. First, the Scientific Committee aims to bring the data and knowledge generated by the daily activity of this marketplace within reach of the research community. By facilitating access to this wealth of new, largely untapped data, the Scientific Committee aims to foster research on European bond markets. Second, the Scientific Committee organizes high-profile scientific conferences on topics in financial economics, with special focus on issues concerning bond markets in Europe, and supervises a series of working papers dealing with these issues. These working papers are posted in digital format on this web site. In these objectives, the Scientific Committee also aims to reinforce the ties between MTS and the university community of students and researchers. Third, the Scientific Committee brings its research input to bear on the strategic issues facing the MTS market, which range from the design of the market's trading system and the development of new securities to issues of competition among financial marketplaces and the governance of exchanges.

2 MTS Group

MTS manages the electronic trading platform known as Telematico used for the electronic trading of fixed-income securities. MTS has emerged as the European market for the fixed income industry with average transaction volumes of 70 billion euros a day (single-counted). The MTS model allows for the use of a common trading platform whilst corporate governance and market supervision remain with the domestic financial community. The MTS Group includes the following wholesale markets: MTS Amsterdam, MTS Belgium, EuroMTS, Eurocredit MTS, MTS España, MTS Finland, MTS France, MTS German Market, MTS Ireland, MTS S.p.A. (‘MTS Italy’), MTS Japan and MTS Portugal. The Group also includes BondVision, the Internet-based multi-dealer-to-client platform. Tradable products on the Telematico markets comprise Austrian, Belgian, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Irish, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish government bonds; quasi government bonds of EIB, KfW, Freddie Mac and CADES; covered bonds including Pfandbriefe and Obligations Foncières, and corporate bonds of various sectors.

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