European government bond trading volumes rise in Q3 - AFME

LONDON, Dec 18 (Reuters) - European government bond markets saw their highest third quarter trading volumes in five years, the Association for Financial Markets in Europe (AFME) said on Wednesday.

The average daily trading volumes of European government bonds rose by 28% year-on-year -- driven by a significant increase in trading volumes in Hungary, Portugal and France, AFME’s third quarter government bond data report said.

“Unanticipated changes in monetary policy and reversal of policy actions by the ECB (European Central Bank) and the U.S. Fed materialised throughout 2019 which may have driven increased trading activity in the sovereign markets throughout the year,” the report said.

The average number of EU primary dealers is now equivalent to the lowest number on record, according to AFME. It said that as of November, five banks had exited primary dealerships since the start of this year and this included one in Italy.

The report also noted that this year was the first time that sovereign issuers had been active in the green bond market in the third quarter of the year. This came as France and Belgium tapped their green bonds. (Reporting by Dhara Ranasinghe; editing by Yoruk Bahceli)