Although any classification of fixed income investors is largely arbitrary, and often even cause of arguments, for the purpose of a first orientation they can be grouped in three major categories: institutional investors, retails investors and intermediaries.
These investors tend to buy only government bonds. For these investors making correct macro-economic judgement is essential and the focus is centred on selecting the right currency mix, the right markets and duration. Selecting individual securities is relatively unimportant.
These investors tend to hold bond to maturity. Their main interest usually lies in the increased yields offered by non-governmental bonds. Retail investors are not particularly interested in opportunities for trading profit.
There are several classes of intermediaries in the Eurobond market. New issue lead managers represent probably the most competitive area of the market. Here together with the major player, there are a large number of specialist firms, with a dominant position in their sub-market of expertise.
A second class of intermediaries in the Euromarkets is represented by brokers. They provide service to primary market participants and traders, rather than investors, and are largely unregulated.
The last major class of intermediaries is represented by market-makers. They undertake to make prices in a minimum number of bonds and in some cases with a certain max spread. A list of the market makers is published by ISMA in the “The Weekly Eurobonds Guide”, together with the data of all outstanding Eurobonds.
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