Trading started yesterday on Wall Street's first swap execution facility (SEF). A SEF is a new type of derivative-trading platform designed by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to compete with banks and with futures exchanges. The goal is to increase transparency in the market by making derivatives prices publicly available.
Bloomberg reports that in its first day, the SEF handled more than 100 trades, conducted by more than 50 companies around the world. The value of the trades—which included interest rate swaps, credit default swaps, foreign exchange swaps, and commodity derivatives—totaled more than $6 billion.
"It's encouraging to see that despite market uncertainty and last-minute regulatory changes, more than 50 of our clients are already trading on our SEF," says Ben Macdonald, global head of product for Bloomberg and president of Bloomberg SEF LLC. "We see this as a positive start."
For companies that trade derivatives but aren't sure about SEFs, Bloomberg developed an infographic to help clarify how the new platform works.