The launch of the MTS European Trading and Settlement Calendar in 2003 heralded a phased approach to the introduction of the TARGET settlement calendar to various countries. The MTS Group is pleased to report that an increasing number of European government bond markets have adopted TARGET for settlement purposes. Spain represents the most recent country to join and, as from 1 January 2006, 14 out of MTSâs 17 European markets will be utilising TARGET for settlement.
All MTS markets already follow TARGET for trading purposes, whereby trading activity is carried out during those domestic public holidays that are not TARGET holidays. However, market conventions and operational problems arising from different levels of staff support have made the full adoption of TARGET difficult at a settlement level, irrespective of the fact that various depositories are fully operational during domestic national holidays.
The harmonisation of the MTS European Trading and Settlement Calendar is dependant on several factors including: heightened transparency and improved communication to the dealing and institutional investor communities, the internationalisation of trading activity (i.e. the increasing importance of cross-border vs. domestic activity) and the policies of domestic authorities and regulators.
MTS will continue to liaise with all interested parties in order to achieve full harmonisation across Europe in this area.