March 20, 2019 / 1:40 PM / 3 months ago

Europe's bond markets left with lowest number of primary dealers since crisis - AFME

LONDON, March 20 (Reuters) - The European Union now has the lowest average number of primary dealers since the global financial crisis, trading body AFME said on Wednesday, as falling turnover in government bond markets have depressed trading revenues.

Since 2016, 15 EU countries have seen a decline in the number of primary dealers, the Association for Financial Markets in Europe said in its government bonds data report for the fourth quarter of 2018.

Of the 20 primary dealers that left EU sovereign markets in 2018, a quarter of them were in Portugal, which fell to 18 from 23, AFME said.

It added that low secondary market turnover could be a factor contributing to primary dealers’ decision to leave the bond markets.

Revenues for European banks from trading bonds, commodities and currencies fell seven percent on average every year since 2012.

In the report, AFME also noted that average daily trading volumes in euro zone government bond markets last year was the lowest since 2013.

Average daily trading volumes in the fourth quarter rose one percent year-on-year, driven by a significant rise in trading in Poland, Belgium and Britain. But this was mostly offset by a fall of over 40 percent each in trading volumes in Sweden and Italy. (Reporting by Dhara Ranasinghe; Editing by Saikat Chatterjee)

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