Repurchase Agreements Finance Essay

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Repo is a short for repurchase agreements, are contracts for the sale and future repurchase of a financial asset, most often Treasury securities. A contract in which the seller of securities agrees to buy them back at a specified time and price also called repurchase agreement or buyback. On the termination date, the seller repurchases the asset at the same price at which he sold it, and pays interest for the use of the funds. Securities dealers are the major borrowers in repurchase agreements or repos. This is because it is the cheapest form of financing. Repos are classified as a money-market instrument. They are usually used to raise short-term capital. In a simple example of repo, the party sells a security to another and agrees to repurchase it at a later date. The first party, the borrower, gets cash and the second party, the lender, earns a return equal to the difference between the price at which he buys the security and the price at which he resells it. In common parlance, the seller of securities does a repo and the lender of funds does a reverse. Because money is the more liquid asset, the lender normally receives a margin on the collateral, meaning it is priced below market value, usually by 2 to 5 percent depending on maturity. To finance their operations, dealers borrow against their inventories of securities. Extremely high profits can be generated when prices rise, but devastating losses can be generated when prices fall. Repos can be of any duration but are most commonly overnight loans. Most repos are overnight transactions, with the sale taking place one day and being reversed the next day. A repurchase agreement or repo can summaries mean by which is an agreement between two parties whereby one party sells the other a security at a specified price with a commitment to buy the security back at a later date for another specified price. While a repo is legally the sale and subsequent repurchase of a security, its economic effect is that of a secured loan. Economically, the party purchasing the security makes funds available to the seller and holds the security as collateral. If the repo security pays a dividend, coupon or partial redemptions during the repo, this is returned to the original owner. The difference between the sale and repurchase prices paid for the security represents interest on the loan. Indeed, repos are quoted as interest rates. Securities dealers use repos to finance their securities inventories. They repo on their inventories, rolling the repos from one day to the next. Counterparties may be institutions, such as money market funds, which have short-term funds to invest, or they may be parties who wish to briefly obtain use of a particular security. For example, a party may want to sell the security short, or they may need to deliver the security to settle a trade with another party. Repurchase agreements which are sale-repurchase agreements, reversing out, to repo securities, to sell collateral, and buybacks are agreements between a borrower and a lender where the borrower, in effect, sells securities to the lender with the stipulation that the securities will be repurchased on a specified date and at a specified, higher price. The price at which an asset is repurchased in a repo is equal to the price at which it was sold plus an amount of interest for the use of the cash. The amount of interest is calculated from a market-determined interest rate called the repo rate. The securities serve as collateral for the loan. The difference between the repurchase price and the amount loaned is the amount of interest paid by the borrower to the lender, which is found by the following formula:

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Dollar Interest = Principal x Repo Rate x (Repo Term in days/360 days)

The repo rate is the annualized interest rate of the transaction:

Repo Rate = Dollar Interest/Principal x 360/ (Repo Term in days)

Sometimes margin must be posted, where the amount of the loan is slightly less than the worth of the collateralized securities, also known as a haircut. This helps to protect the lender from the possibility that rising interest rates will reduce the value of the collateral. Most repo agreements mark the collateral to market daily. Repo in government securities are fully-assigned, with collateral securities identified at the initiation of the trade. Repo proceeds include accrued interests. Typically repos are conducted as ‘classic repos’ with both initial and variation margin applied on market values of collateral securities. Variation margin may be called when the fall in value of collateral securities exceeds a mutually agreed margin threshold. If the value of the collateral drops below the required margin, then the borrower may be subject to a margin call, or the repo may be re-priced in which the value of the loan is reduced. In either case, the borrower must send more money to the lender to maintain margin or to reduce the principal outstanding. The main benefit of repos to borrowers is that the repo rate is less than borrowing from a bank. The main benefit to lenders over other money market instruments, such as commercial paper, is that the maturity of the repo can be precisely tailored to the lender’s needs. Major borrowers include large banks, and also dealers in banker’s acceptances. Government securities are the main collateral for most repos, mortgage-backed securities, and other money market instruments.

The Repo Market

The repo market is the largest money market sector. The repo market is one in which two participants agree that one will sell securities to another and make a commitment to repurchase equivalent securities on a future specified date, or on call, at a specified price. There are several other large traders of repos besides government bond dealers. The net buyers of repos are money market funds, bank trust departments, municipalities, and corporations. The net sellers of collateral are thrifts and commercial banks. In effect, it is a way of borrowing or lending stock for cash, with the stock serving as collateral. Repos are not only used to finance inventory, but are also used to cover short positions of securities, and much of the repo market arises from speculative trading, where traders attempt to profit from the differences in the repo rates of repos and reverses.

Repo Rate Determinants

The annualized rate of interest paid on the loan is known as the repo rate. The repo rate is the interest rate that the lender charges the borrower. The implied repo rate comes from the reverse repo market, which has similar gain or loss variables as the implied repo rate. Interest rates payable on special repos tend to be lower than those payable on repo. This is because a party reverse repo on a special security will accept a reduced interest rate on its funds in exchange for receiving the special security it requires. Economically, the transaction is no different from cash collateralized securities lending. Pricing of either type of deal depends upon demand for the desired security. Because of the repos are essentially secured loans, their interest rates doing not depend upon the respective counterparties’ credit qualities. All types of futures and forward contracts have an implied repo rate, not just bond contracts. The rate of return that can be earned by simultaneously selling a bond futures or forward contract and then buying an actual bond of equal amount in the cash market using borrowed money. The bond is held until it is delivered into the futures or forward contract and the loan is repaid. The repo rate for a particular transaction depends on the following factors. One of the factors is credit quality. It is like most other securities. The interest rate varies inversely with the credit quality of the issuer. So, the higher of the credit quality, then it will be the lower of the repo rate. Besides that, other factor is liquidity. It is very important and liquidity and the greater liquidity will lower the trading costs. So, the liquidity will affect the rate and affect the market. Then, delivery is also one of the factors. If the collateral must be delivery in physically, then the lender may charge higher rate of repo. This is because the lender wants to cover the delivery costs. Lastly, collateral availability is also an important factor that will affect the repo rate. For example, if it is a special issue and it is very hard to have it, then the seller of the issue may try to obtain lower rate of repo from a lender that needs the collateral.

Speculative Trading

Since interest rates on short-term money market instruments changes daily, repos can also be used to profit from speculations about future interest rates by, hopefully, borrowing low and lending high, as long as the differential is great enough to cover trading costs. For instance, if a speculator thought that interest rates were going to rise over the next several months, she could borrow money from a repo with a term of 90 days, then do overnight reverses with the money. If her prediction is correct, then she can lend at successively higher interest rates while paying the locked-in lower rate on her 90-day repo. If her prediction is wrong, then she will still have to do the reverse repos, so that she can earn whatever interest she can, but it will be less than what she is paying, then she will suffer a loss. If a speculator thought that interest rates will be going down over the next several months, and then he would do a reverse term repo by lending the money which he got from an overnight repo for a term of 90 days, then continue borrowing the money through overnight repos to pay back the overnight repo that is maturing and rolling over the debt at successively lower interest rates while getting a higher interest rate for his reverse. If the speculator bet wrong, then he would have to pay more in interest than he would earn. A dealer firm can sometimes profit from the credit spread of a matched book, which is a repo and reverse repo of the same maturity. Some trades in the repo market are done to cover short positions. When a dealer shorts securities, it may try to temporarily replace those securities with a repo. It will first look to its customers to see if any of them will do a reverse using the shorted security. If that is not possible, then the dealer will use the services of a repo broker, especially if the securities are difficult to acquire, called a hot issue or special issue. The repo can only replace the securities temporarily. Eventually, the dealer will have to buy the securities to replace those that were sold short and hopefully at a lower price.

Repo characteristic

There are three types of repo maturities. There are overnight repo, term repo, and open repo. Overnight refers to a one-day maturity transaction. Term refers to a repo with a specified end date and it usually one week to one month. Open repo simply has no end date. The interest rate on open repos is slightly higher than on overnight repos. An open repo or open-maturity repo is a contractual relationship that allows the borrower to borrow funds up to a certain limit, without signing a new contract and it like an open credit arrangement. Although repos are typically short-term, it is not unusual to see repos with a maturity as long as two years. An open repo reduces settlement costs if the repo has to be rolled over. However, each party has the right to cancel at any time. Open repos also gives the dealer the right of substitution, which allows the substitution of other securities of similar credit quality for the collateral. The firm that makes the loan for a repo and usually a bank has a reverse repo position that reversing in, to do repo, and to buy collateral, which is simply the opposite side of a repo. For every repo, some party has the reverse repo. Repo may either be “cash-driven” or “securities-driven”. In a cash-driven repo, the repo transaction is used to obtain cash funding. Securities used as collateral are not specific and usually consists of off-the-runs. For securities-driven repo, repo buyers are specifically seeking a particular identified security typically on-the-runs or benchmark securities mainly for the purpose of covering short-sale positions. Both types of repo transactions are transacted between market participants and the central bank via standard repo and benchmark repo auctions respectively. Repo transactions occur in three forms: specified delivery, tri-party, and held in custody. The third form is quite rare in developing markets primarily due to risks. The first form requires the delivery of a prespecified bond at the onset, and at maturity of the contractual period. Tri-party essentially is a basket form of transaction, and allows for a wider range of instruments in the basket or pool. Tri-party utilizes a tri-party clearing agent or bank and is a more efficient form of repo transaction.


For the delivery, the problem is the cost of repos is the delivery of collateral. For example, if the lender does not take possession of the collateral, then the borrower could borrow more funds using the same collateral and increasing the credit risk for the lender. The lender must take possession to protect its interests which an added cost that the borrower must pay. However, for overnight repos, physical delivery would be virtually impossible. In these cases, the borrower can set up a custodial account for the lender at a clearing bank. While the loan is outstanding, the securities are held in the custodial account for the benefit of the lender. When the repo is repaid, then the clearing bank can move the collateral back to the borrower, or to another account for a repo with another lender. Since the collateral can be moved by simply adjusting the beneficial owner in the electronic record of the collateral, the delivery is fast and cheap.

Due bill/hold in-custody repo

In a due bill repo, the collateral pledged by the cash borrower is not actually delivered to the cash lender. Rather, it is placed in an internal account (“held in custody”) by the borrower, for the lender, throughout the duration of the trade. This has become less common as the repo market has grown, particularly owing to the creation of centralized counterparties. Due to the high risk to the cash lender, these are generally only transacted with large, financially stable institutions.

Tri-party repo

In a repurchase, or repo, transaction where an investor can borrow cash for a short period from another party, using securities as collateral for the loan. Investors with large portfolios of securities can thus lend these out and earn a return over time. The distinguishing feature of a tri-party repo is that a custodian bank or international clearing organization, the tri-party agent, acts as an intermediary between the two parties to the repo. The tri-party agent is responsible for the administration of the transaction including collateral allocation, marking to market, and substitution of collateral. They therefore have the scale to subscribe to multiple data feeds to maximise the universe of coverage. As part of a tri-party agreement the three parties to the agreement, the tri-party agent, the repo buyer and the repo seller agree to a collateral management service agreement which includes an “eligible collateral profile”. It is this “eligible collateral profile” that enables the repo buyer to define their risk appetite in respect of the collateral that they are prepared to hold against their cash. For example a more risk adverse repo buyer may wish to only hold non-financial, primary market, equity as collateral. In the event of a liquidation event of the repo seller the collateral is highly liquid thus enabling the repo buyer to sell the collateral quickly. A less risk adverse repo buyer may be prepared to take non investment grade bonds as collateral, these may be less liquid and may suffer higher price volatility in the event of a repo seller default, making it more difficult for the repo buyer to sell the collateral and recover their cash. The tri-party agents are able to offer sophisticated collateral eligibility filters which allow the repo buyer to create these “eligibile collateral profiles” which can systemically generate collateral pools which reflect the buyer’s risk appetite. Collateral eligibility criteria could include asset type, issuer, currency, domicile, credit rating, maturity, index, issue size, average daily traded volume. Both the lender or repo buyer and borrower or repo seller of cash enters into these transactions to avoid the administrative burden of bi-lateral repos. In addition, because the collateral is being held by an agent, counterparty risk is reduced. A tri-party repo may be seen as the outgrowth of the due bill repo, in which the collateral is held by a neutral third party.

Whole loan repo

A whole loan repo is a form of repo where the transaction is collateralized by a loan or other form of obligation rather than a security.

Equity repo

The underlying security for most repo transactions is in the form of government or corporate bonds. Equity repos are simply repos on equity securities such as common or ordinary shares. Some complications can arise because of greater complexity in the tax rules for dividends as opposed to coupons.

Securities lending

The general motivation for repos is the borrowing or lending of cash. In securities lending, the purpose is to temporarily obtain the security for other purposes, such as covering short positions or for use in complex financial structures. Securities are generally lent out for a fee. Securities lending trades are governed by different types of legal agreements than repos.

Reverse Repo

A reverse repo is simply the same repurchase agreement from the buyer’s viewpoint, not the seller’s. Hence, the seller executing the transaction would describe it as a repo, while the buyer in the same transaction would describe it a reverse repo. Reverse repo is a purchase of securities with an agreement to resell them at a higher price at a specific future date. This is essentially just a loan of the security at a specific rate and also called reverse repurchase agreement. So repo and reverse repo are exactly the same kind of transaction, just described from opposite viewpoints. The reverse repo is the complete opposite of a repo. In this case, a dealer buys government securities from an investor and then sells them back at a later date for a higher price. The difference between repo and reverse repo is reverse repo is a term used to describe the opposite side of a repo transaction. The party who sells and later repurchases a security is said to perform a repo. The other party who purchases and later resells the securityand it can be said to perform a reverse repo. The term “reverse repo and sale” is commonly used to describe the creation of a short position in a debt instrument where the buyer in the repo transaction immediately sells the security provided by the seller on the open market. Reverse repo will make an arrangement where a dealer or broker agrees to buy a security and sell it to a customer which is the investor at a higher price on a specified date. These agreements are in effect loans from dealers to investors, collateralized by the securities bought. On the settlement date of the repo, the buyer acquires the relevant security on the open market and delivers it to the seller. In such a short transaction the seller is wagering that the relevant security will decline in value between the date of the repo and the settlement date. Reverse repurchase agreement is the purchase of securities with the agreement to sell them at a higher price at a specific future date. For the party selling the security which is agreeing to repurchase it in the future, then it is a repo. For the party on the other end of the transaction which is buying the security and agreeing to sell in the future, then it is a reverse repurchase agreement.


For the buyer, a repo is an opportunity to invest cash for a customized period of time or other investments typically limit tenures. It is short-term and safer as a secured investment since the investor receives collateral. Market liquidity for repos is good, and rates are competitive for investors. For traders in trading firms, repos are used to finance long positions, obtain access to cheaper funding costs of other speculative investments, and cover short positions in securities. In addition to using repo as a funding vehicle, repo traders “make markets”. These traders have been traditionally known as “matched-book repo traders”. The concept of a matched-book trade follows closely to that of a broker who takes both sides of an active trade, essentially having no market risk, only credit risk. Elementary matched-book traders engage in both the repo and a reverse repo within a short period of time, capturing the profits from the bid or ask spread between the reverse repo and repo rates. Presently, matched-book repo traders employ other profit strategies, such as non-matched maturities, collateral swaps, and liquidity management.


While classic repos are generally credit-risk mitigated instruments, there are residual credit risks. Though it is essentially a collateralized transaction, the seller may fail to repurchase the securities sold at the maturity date. In other words, the repo seller defaults on his obligation. Consequently, the buyer may keep the security, and liquidate the security in order to recover the cash lent. The security, however, may have lost value since the outset of the transaction as the security is subject to market movements. To mitigate this risk, repos often are over collateralized as well as being subject to daily mark-to-market margining. Credit risk associated with repo is subject to many factors. There is term of repo, liquidity of security, the strength of the counterparties involved. Repo transactions came into focus within the financial press due to the technicalities of settlements. Occasionally, a party involved in a repo transaction may not have a specific bond at the end of the repo contract. This may cause a string of failures from one party to the next, for as long as different parties have transacted for the same underlying instrument. The focus of the media attention centres on attempts to mitigate these failures. There are some potential pitfalls and risks. One of the risks is interest rate risk. Interest rates and bond prices carry an inverse relationship which is as interest rates fall, the price of bonds trading in the marketplace generally rises. Conversely, when interest rates rise, the price of bonds tends fall. This happens because when interest rates are on the decline, investors try to capture or lock in the highest rates they can for as long as they can. To do this, they will scoop up existing bonds that pay a higher rate of interest than the prevailing market rate. This increase in demand translates into an increase in bond price. On the flip side, if the prevailing interest rate were on the rise, investors would naturally jettison bonds that pay lower rates of interest. Then, it will have other risk which is the reinvestment risk. Another risk that bond investors face is reinvestment risk, which is the risk of having to reinvest proceeds at a lower rate than the rate the funds were previously earning. One of the main ways this risk presents itself is when interest rates fall over time and callable bonds are exercised by the issuers. The callable feature allows the issuer to redeem the bond prior to maturity. As a result, the bondholder receives the principal payment, which is often at a slight premium to the par value. However, the downside to a bond call is that the investor is then left with a pile of cash that he or she may not be able to reinvest at a comparable rate. This reinvestment risk can have a major adverse impact on an individual’s investment returns over time. In order to compensate for this risk, investors receive a higher yield on the bond than they would on a similar bond that isn’t callable. Active bond investors can attempt to mitigate reinvestment risk in their portfolios by staggering the potential call dates of their differing bonds. This limits the chance that many bonds will be called at once. Besides that, inflation risk is also one of the risks that may happen. When an investor buys a bond, he or she essentially commits to receiving a rate of return, either fixed or variable, for the duration of the bond or at least as long as it is held. But what happens if the cost of living and inflation increase dramatically, and at a faster rate than income investment? When that happens, investors will see their purchasing power erode and may actually achieve a negative rate of return. For an example, suppose that an investor earns a rate of return of 3% on a bond. If inflation grows to 4% after the purchase of the bond, the investor’s true rate of return is -1% and this is because of the decrease in purchasing power. Next, credit or default risk also has to consider by the investor or buyers. Investors must consider the possibility of default and factor this risk into their investment decision. As one means of analyzing the possibility of default, some analysts and investors will determine a company’s coverage ratio before initiating an investment. They will analyze the corporation’s income statement and cash flow statement, determine its operating income and cash flow, and then weigh that against its debt service expense. The theory is the greater the coverage or operating income and cash flow in proportion to the debt service expenses, the safer the investment. At last, liquidity risk is also one of the risks. While there is almost always a ready market for government bonds, corporate bonds are sometimes entirely different animals. There is a risk that an investor might not be able to sell his or her corporate bonds quickly due to a thin market with few buyers and sellers for the bond. Low interest in a particular bond issue can lead to substantial price volatility and possibly have an adverse impact on a bondholder’s total return (upon sale). Much like stocks that trade in a thin market, you may be forced to take a much lower price than expected to sell your position in the bond.

Sell/buy backs and buy/sell backs

A sell/buy back is the spot sale and a forward repurchase of a security. It is two distinct outright cash market trades, one for forward settlement. The forward price is set relative to the spot price to yield a market rate of return. The basic motivation of sell/buy backs is generally the same as for a classic repo that attempting to benefit from the lower financing rates generally available for collateralized as opposed to non-secured borrowing. The economics of the transaction are also similar with the interest on the cash borrowed through the sell/buy back being implicit in the difference between the sale price and the purchase price. There are a number of differences between the two structures. A repo is technically a single transaction whereas a sell/buy back is a pair of transactions between a sell and a buy. A sell/buy back does not require any special legal documentation while a repo generally requires a master agreement to be in place between the buyer and seller. For this reason there is an associated increase in risk compared to repo. Should the counterparty default, the lack of agreement may lessen legal standing in retrieving collateral. Any coupon payment on the underlying security during the life of the sell/buy back will generally be passed back to the seller of the security by adjusting the cash paid at the termination of the sell/buy back. In a repo, the coupon will be passed on immediately to the seller of the security. A buy/sell back is the equivalent of a “reverse repo”.


The selling of a security that the seller does not own, or any sale that is completed by the delivery of a security borrowed by the seller. Short sellers assume that they will be able to buy the stock at a lower amount than the price at which they sold short. Selling short is the opposite of going long. That is, short sellers make money if the stock goes down in price. In finance, short selling is also known as shorting or going short where there is the practice of selling assets, usually securities, that have been borrowed from a third party and it is usually a broker with the intention of buying identical assets back at a later date to return to the lender. As an investor, you might at some point decide that a certain stock is overvalued and is due for a fall in stock price. In such a case, an investor can sell short a stock. The investor arranges to have the broker borrow the stock from another investor, and then the stock is sold. The broker holds the cash from the sale as collateral. If the stock goes down, then you, as the investor that is selling short, can buy back the stocks at the lower price and keep the difference as profit. Therefore, you receive the cash collateral, less the cost of the repurchased stock. Regulated short selling of Malaysian Government Securities (MGS) was initially allowed for Principal Dealers (PD) as to facilitate a more efficient execution of their market making responsibilities. Since November 2005, Regulated Short Selling has been extended to other interbank participants and universal brokers to increase domestic bond market liquidity, accelerate price corrections in overvalued securities, facilitate hedging of interest rate risk and promote activity in the repo as well as the securities borrowing and lending (SBL) market. Bonds like any other security, experience market fluctuations and it is possible to short sell a bond. Short selling is a way to profit from a declining security such as a stock or a bond by selling it without owning it. Investors expecting a bear market will often enter a short position by selling a borrowed security at the current market price in the hope of buying it back at a lower price at which time he or she would return it to the original owner. Short sellers in the stock market are usually concerned with their expectations of a company’s future earnings and it is the main factor determining stock price, whereas short sellers of bonds are most concerned with future bond yields, the determining factor of bond prices. The short seller hopes to profit from a decline in the price of the assets between the sale and the repurchase, as the seller will pay less to buy the assets than the seller received on selling them. Anticipating bond prices requires careful attention to interest rate fluctuations. The short seller will incur a loss if the price of the assets rises. Essentially, as interest rates jump, bond prices tend to fall. Therefore, a person anticipating interest rate hikes might look to make a short sale. Selling short can be a great strategy for making money in a market that is sluggish or declining. All Authorised Interbank Institutions (AII) which include commercial banks, merchant banks and discount houses licensed under Banking and Financial Institution Act 1989 and universal brokers as approved by the Securities Commission can undertake short selling transactions. All short selling transactions must be a seller’s own proprietary position, and not for third-parties. Eligible securities allowed in a regulated short selling transaction are specific issues of MGS with an outstanding nominal amount of at least RM2.0 billion and remaining tenure to maturity of 10.5 years or less, at the time when the short selling position is created. Each participant’s short position should also not exceed 10% of the outstanding nominal amount of each eligible security issue. Only covered short selling is allowed whereby the short sold securities must be covered via repo or securities borrowing. With the exception of intraday transactions, naked short selling of eligible securities is not yet allowed in order to minimise market volatility and excessive speculative activities. All short sales of MGS are reported in Bond Information and Dissemination System (BIDS) and distinguished from normal sales via a Short Sale indicator checkbox. Principal Dealers also regularly disclose outstanding short sale positions by maturity buckets to Bank Negara Malaysia on a weekly basis. With the inception of ISCAP, market participant now can borrow securities via repo or SBL transaction with Bank Negara Malaysia to cover their short position and manage settlement risks effectively. In order to ensure reasonable access to repo and SBL as short-covering mechanisms, participants must execute the Global Master Repurchase Agreement (GMRA) or the Securities Borrowing and Lending agreement with at least two other market participants excluding Bank Negara Malaysia. The real risk here for a short seller is a possible upside gap that he or she will not be able to react to until after a significant loss has been incurred. Long purchasers have this same risk, only in the opposite direction, with downside gaps. Because of the risk of upside gaps, it is crucial that a short seller do his or her homework before short selling any stock. No amount of due diligence research can guarantee an upside gap will not occur against the short seller, but at least it will make him or her aware of all upcoming known events that may cause such an occurrence and can therefore aid in decision making. If practiced properly, short selling is no more risky than long stock purchases. More research is likely still needed, but one day researchers may conclude what many already believe: short selling is a much needed, effective method of regulating the markets. If more people were educated on short selling, there would be less fear surrounding it, which in turn could lead to a more balanced market over the long term.

Switch Auction

Malaysian Government Securities (MGS) switch auction involves the Government buying back or redeeming certain predetermined MGS which is repurchase bond that tend to be illiquid and to replace them with more liquid benchmark MGS which is replacement bond. The main objective of the switch auction is to enable the Government to consistently issue new MGS in all market conditions, including periods of fiscal balances or surpluses. It also provides more flexibility to the Government to manage its liability through the re-profiling of debt. At the same time, switch auctions could also be used to cater investors’ demand for securities of certain duration. Repo auctions are conducted by Bank Negara Malaysia to complement clean money market borrowing, as repo rates are generally traded lower by 2 to 3 basis points compared to an unsecured or ‘clean’ borrowing over the comparable maturity term. On occasion, Bank Negara Malaysia will also provide liquidity under its standing facility using standard repos, typically bilaterally with market participants that experience liquidity shortages at the end of the day. Participation in a switch auction is voluntary. A switch auction will be announced in advance, at least one week prior to the actual issuance date. Replacement bonds only consist of existing re-opened stocks, as new issues are unlikely to be issued via this mechanism. The list of ‘off-the-run’ securities that market participants may offer as repurchase bonds as well as the yields of the replacement bond will be announced to the market prior to tender closing. Interested bidders are then required to submit their respective offer amounts of the repurchase bonds as well as their respective yield valuations via Fully Automated System for Issuing/Tendering (FAST). Submitted offers would be compared against the Central Banks internally constructed fair-valuation yield curve, which then determines the level and amount of offered bonds that are successful. The switch auction follows a variable-rate multiple-price relative-value auction format. The switch auction could either be conducted using the duration-neutral, cash proceeds neutral or matched nominal amount method. Currently, under the duration-neutral method, the amount of replacement MGS issued and allocated to successful offers would be rounded to the nearest RM5 million which is the standard lot for MGS trading. Due to the rounding process, any remaining difference between the total proceeds of the repurchase securities and replacement securities in the switch will need to be paid either by the bidders or the Government.

The aims of the MGS switch auction

The aims of the MGS switch auction are to create more liquidity in the bond market by increasing the issuance of benchmark MGS and reducing the outstanding amount of off-the- run MGS. Then, other objective is enable the Government to restructure its debt profile, smoothen interest payment and debt repayment as well as managing its borrowing costs more effectively. Lastly, it also Enable the Government to continue issuing benchmark MGS while managing its debt level during periods of reduced government’s financing needs.

Methods of MGS Switch Auction

The MGS switch auction may be conducted on the basis of nominal neutral, duration-neutral or cash flow-neutral methods.


The nominal amount of replacement bond provided will be equal to the nominal amount of repurchase bonds. Conversion ratio is 1.


Market participants will receive an amount of replacement bond that will leave the effective duration approximation of their holdings unchanged. The nominal amount of the replacement bond will typically be rounded to the nearest amount in line with the standard lot of MGS in the secondary market. Due to the rounding practice, effective duration approximation may not be precisely matched. BNM may choose not to round the replacement bond in order to match duration more precisely in certain tenders. BNM will announce in FAST, fourteen calendar days prior to the switch date in the event BNM chooses not to round the replacement bond.

Conversion ratio is calculated in accordance to the following:

[(Price repurchase – 1bp) – (Price repurchase + 1bp)] (Price replacement) [(Price replacement – 1bp) – (Price replacement + 1bp)] (Price repurchase)


Price repurchase – 1bp: Price of repurchase bond when yield decreased by 1 bp Price repurchase + 1bp: Price of repurchase bond when yield increased by 1 bp Price replacement – 1bp: Price of replacement bond when yield decreased by 1 bp Price replacement + 1bp: Price of replacement bond when yield increased by 1bp

Cash flow-Neutral

The value of replacement bond will be as close as possible to the value of the repurchase bonds in order to minimise the net cash settlement.

Conversion ratio is calculated in accordance to the following:

(Dirty price of repurchase bond)

(Dirty price of replacement bond)

Details on the MGS Switch Auction

In all the MGS switch auction methods, participants may submit their tenders for the repurchase bonds in odd lot amounts, subject to RENTAS minimum denomination. Nominal allotment of replacement bonds will be rounded to the nearest amount corresponding to RENTAS minimum denomination except in the case of duration-neutral method which may be rounded to the nearest amount corresponding to the MGS standard trading lot in secondary market. Net cash proceeds will be calculated based on the difference between the bond values of repurchase and replacement bonds. If the value of the repurchase bonds exceeds that of the replacement bonds, BNM will pay net cash proceeds to the participants. If the value of the replacement bonds exceeds that of the repurchase bonds, participants will pay net cash proceeds to BNM.

Auction Type

The auction basis will be conducted on competitive multiple-price auction basis. Tender should be submitted in yields, up to three decimal places. However, BNM may conduct bilateral switches under certain circumstances. The transaction will be announced in FAST upon the conclusion of such switches. BNM may also conduct non-competitive MGS switch auction upon terms and conditions to be specified by BNM.

Participation in the MGS Switch Auction

The switch auction on FAST is only open to Principal Dealers (PDs). Non-PDs wishing to participate must submit their offers through their designated PDs. Participation are voluntary to all participants. However, PDs are strongly encouraged to participate in all MGS switch auctions. Maximum allotment limit is not applicable in MGS switch auctions. However, BNM may impose a maximum allotment limit when it is deemed necessary. Participants shall have legal and beneficial ownership of repurchase bonds offered in any MGS switch auction. Participants shall also ensure that the repurchase bonds offered are free and clear of all charges, claims, encumbrances, security interests or any other form of restriction. BNM may also participate in any MGS switch auction and will offer repurchase bonds at the weighted average yields of the successful offers for any particular repurchase bond.

Selection of the Repurchase Bonds

The repurchase bond selected by BNM will not consist of MGS that have been issued, reopened or exchanged via MGS switch auction in the 6 months prior to the MGS switch date unless announced by BNM in FAST(Fully Automated System for Issuing/Tendering). Eligible repurchase bonds for switch auction will be announced by referring to either a specific stock code or maturity basket. In the case of maturity basket, a negative list may apply.

Selection of the Replacement Bonds

The replacement bond will only consist of benchmark MGS that have been issued. The replacement bond issued under a MGS switch auction shall be considered as a ‘reopening’ of a benchmark MGS.

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Repurchase Agreements Finance Essay. (2017, Jun 26). Retrieved February 7, 2023 , from

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