MTSNext launches Eurozone Inflation-linked Bond Index

(LONDON) MTSNext is pleased to announce the launch of the EuroMTS Inflation-linked Index, the first inflation-linked government bond index using transparent, real-time tradable prices. The new index, the first step in the expansion of the EuroMTS Global Index, will initially be calculated and published twice daily (11:00 and 16:00 CET) with a real-time index being introduced in July 2004. The launch of the EuroMTS Inflation-linked Index (EMTXi) follows the introduction of the EuroMTS Linkers Market, which is dedicated to furthering the liquidity of the eurozone inflation-linked government bond market.

The EMTXi was designed in association with the French bond market association, the Comité de Normalisation Obligataire (CNO), to accurately represent the eurozone inflation-linked bond market and to be homogenous with the existing EuroMTS Index family. The Index incorporates eurozone issues quoted on MTS - the reference market in Europe for fixed income securities - with more than EUR 2 billion in outstanding size and at least one year to maturity. The index, comprised of the entire range of inflation-linked securities listed on the EuroMTS Linkers Market, currently includes one Greek, two Italian and six French inflation-linked bonds.

"As issuers of the first inflation-linked bond in continental Europe in 1998 we recognise the launch of the EMTXi index as a further significant step in the evolution of the European inflation-linked market, " said Bertrand de Mazières, Chief Executive Officer, Agence France Trésor.

ABN Amro, Banca IMI, BNP Paribas, CDC IXIS, Goldman Sachs, HSBC CCF and Société Générale have expressed their commitment to launch index products based on the EMTXi in the coming weeks.

Sebastien Goldenberg, Head of Inflation Trading at ABN Amro, said: "During the last twelve months, the sharp growth in eurozone inflation-linked fixed income issuance and investor demand for an inflation-linked index based on principles of independence, tradable prices and access to transparent data indicate that this is the right time to launch this index. We look forward to developing products based on this index in response to the growing needs of our clients."

Patrick Barbe, Head of European Fixed Income, BNP Paribas Asset Management, said: "Inflation-linked bonds are increasingly becoming a major asset class and a benchmark index measuring the performance of this asset class is an important addition. In particular, the EMTXi offers the degree of transparency and accuracy required by the market and will facilitate the production of structured products and derivatives. We welcome the index and eagerly anticipate the products that will follow it."

The addition of the EMTXi expands the EuroMTS Index family to eight indices. The EuroMTS Global Index, formerly the CNO Etrix, was acquired by EuroMTS in January 2003. The major goal in developing these indices is to provide widespread and easy access to the indices and their pricing, a policy that reflects the demands of a variety of bond investors. The EuroMTS Inflation-linked Index, its history and the bond prices used at the fixings are distributed free of charge via euromtsindex website and through market data vendors (Bloomberg "EMTS" and Reuters "EUROMTSINDEX").

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