We introduce a new proxy for measuring corporate bond liquidity, using the price of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that hold corporate bonds. It measures the average liquidity across 900 corporate bonds every day, many more than other proxies used in previous Bank of Canada analysis. The new proxy nonetheless paints a very similar picture of liquidity conditions and confirms the previous findings: the liquidity of bonds has generally improved since 2010.
Government of Canada bonds in circulation that promise very similar payoffs can have different prices. We study the reason for these differences. Bonds that trade more often and earn high rental income in the repurchase agreement (repo) market tend to have higher prices. Bonds with longer tenors and times to maturity tend to have lower prices. This contrast between cheap and expensive bonds is important because trading volume and rental income can change rapidly, unlike tenor and time to maturity, which are stable.