Many sovereign issuers are operating in the markets through an appointed group of banks called Primary Dealers (PDs) or Market Makers. These market counterparties are subject to certain obligations, which differ from country to country, but usually include participating in the auctions, placing the government securities and maintaining a liquid secondary market by making continuous bid–offer prices. For the EU Member States where a PD system is in place, the EFC Sub-Committee on EU Sovereign Debt Markets (ESDM) has compiled a list of links to official information on the composition of the PD group as well as links to the PD code of conduct.
PDs also have a reporting obligation towards the respective Debt Management Offices (DMOs) on all outright purchases and sales in government securities.
These reports provide the DMO’s with useful information on market trends in the placement of government securities and hence are an important tool in managing the relationship with investors and steering marketing efforts. The reported information can be communicated to investors and market participants in an aggregated format.
In order to simplify and harmonize the reporting for PDs on their activity in the euro-denominated government securities, the DMOs of the Euro area have agreed on a Harmonized Reporting Format (HRF) as from January 2006 onwards. The HRF has been developed by the ESDM members in co-operation with the European Primary Dealers Association (EPDA). The HRF is currently used by 11 euro area Member States and their PDs.
By harmonizing the reports to be submitted by PDs active in several euro area markets, the HRF aims to help the PDs to fulfill their reporting obligations as well as to enhance the quality and consistency of the reports.