DBS Chooses Nivaura to Digitize Bond Issuance
Nivaura, a London and Italy based Fintech, has delivered the technology underpinning Singapore-based DBS Bank’s groundbreaking bond issuance platform. DBS’ Fixed Income Execution (FIX) Marketplace marks the world’s first fully digital and automated fixed income execution platform, where issuers can directly connect with the bank’s dealer teams and investors.
The new DBS platform enables its origination, syndicate, legal, operations and sales desks to easily communicate and share complex transactional information to manage the end-to-end flow of transaction data and documentation. It also powers key external facing interfaces and digital tools that enable issuers, investors and service providers (such as listing and paying agents) to have machine-to-human or machine-to-machine interactions. One of the exciting new services, which is a direct consequence of the end-to-end automation enabled by this platform, is the “1-click drawdown” feature that enables fast and easy direct issuance.
Nivaura configured and deployed its core workflow digitisation and automation technology, Aurora, to meet DBS’s specific needs. Nivaura’s technology also underpins London Stock Exchange Group’s Flow, a multi-dealer EMTN SaaS marketplace that went live earlier this year and was leveraged in the LSEG MTN multi-tranche, multi-currency, syndicated $7bn equivalent issuance.
This DBS platform has been deployed on-premises, which enables DBS as a regulated entity to fully manage complex compliance requirements, as well as to ensure the platform can be used for high volume transaction flow and seamless interaction with internal services.
The DBS deployment also enables complete transaction life-cycle management for direct issuance to the bank’s own clients; and the data can be fed into tokenization services to enable registration and settlement on a blockchain.
The DBS platform utilises General-purpose Legal Mark-up Language (GLML), a human-readable mark-up language pioneered by Nivaura in conjunction with a number of global law firms and infrastructure service providers. GLML is designed to be used by lawyers or other professionals with zero software programming experience to set up documents for digitisation and automation.
Clifford Lee, Global Head of Fixed Income, DBS, said: “The time is ripe for traditional ways of bond origination to make way for a more digital approach, to do what has been aspired for so long – by taking the first step towards the creation of an independent platform that allows bond issuers efficient and effective direct access to the market place and bond investors. The FIX Marketplace marks the first step in this ambitious journey to democratise the capital markets for better transparency and broader financial inclusion. This can only be done effectively in consultation and collaboration with market players and participants, including arrangers, issuers, investors, lawyers, auditors and clearing houses. Through this collective effort, we can enhance the capabilities and features of the FIX Marketplace to best transform the market for the better.”
The DBS platform has already been endorsed by issuers such as Keppel Corp, which cited the ability to respond swiftly to market opportunities with self-executable offerings as a real differentiator. It has also been welcomed by DBS’s investor clients, with Phillip Securities suggesting that easier and faster access to commercial paper allows investors to realise higher returns over short-term funding.
Dr. Avtar Singh Sehra, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Nivaura commented: “Nivaura is honoured to have worked closely with DBS in bringing this groundbreaking digital bond issuance platform to life. We believe this world’s first will accelerate interest in the digitalisation and automation paradigm for capital markets. Issuers want to cut complexity, time and cost out of primary market transactions – and dealers realise they need to lead on this. In addition, dealers don’t want to be locked into centralised marketplace platforms for all their transaction needs. Dealers are keen to directly interact with their clients and provide the range of capital markets services they can offer through a single digital “shop front” which they control.”
Over the last five years Nivaura has taken a leading role in bringing efficiency to the primary markets, and through its active dialogue with regulators and capital markets participants, it has driven key innovations in digitalisation and automation. Nivaura is continuing to work with the industry to refine its fully flexible technology, which is an easily adaptable whitelabel solution for capital markets participants to configure seamless digital journeys for their clients. This also enables a bank’s clients to try innovations in a controlled environment in parallel with modes of operating that they are accustomed to – for example issuing traditional and tokenised securities through a single and seamless digital platform.
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