Credit and credit aggregates, Financial Institutions, Financial markets, Financial services, Financial stability, Financial system regulation and policies, International financial markets, Lender of last resort, Market structure and pricing, Monetary policy implementation, Payment clearing and settlement systems

  • December 9, 1996 The Canadian market for zero-coupon bonds

    A conventional bond is a debt instrument consisting of a series of periodic coupon payments plus the repayment of the principal at maturity. As the name suggests, a zero-coupon bond has no coupon payments. It has only a single payment consisting of the repayment of the principal at maturity. The zero-coupon bond is sold at a discount and then redeemed for its face value at maturity. The return to the investor is the difference between the face value of the bond and its discounted purchase price. In this article, the author examines the investment characteristics of zero-coupon bonds. In particular, a type of zero-coupon bond known as a strip bond is discussed. A strip bond is created by stripping coupon payments from conventional bonds. The strip bond market in Canada has grown substantially since the late 1980s and is now an integral part of Canadian fixed-income markets. As well, the opportunity to trade in the strip bond market improves the liquidity and efficiency of Canadian fixed-income markets, thus helping to reduce the overall cost of borrowing to the government.
  • November 10, 1996 The market for futures contracts on Canadian bankers' acceptances

    The Montreal Exchange introduced futures contracts on 3-month Canadian bankers' acceptances, known as BAX, in 1988. In this article, the author explains the nature of this new instrument, which is bought and sold on the floor of the Exchange, and its role in hedging, speculation, and arbitrage. She briefly reviews the technical aspects of the market and explains the difference between BAX contracts and forward rate agreements. She also examines the market's rapid growth and its relationship to the market for treasury bills.
  • November 8, 1996 Money markets and central bank operations: Conference summary

    This article summarizes the proceedings of a conference hosted by the Bank of Canada in November 1995. The conference examined the interaction between monetary policy operations and the money market. It provided an opportunity to assess current operations before the introduction of a large-value transfer system leads the Bank to change the techniques it uses to implement monetary policy on a day-to-day basis. From the Bank's perspective, the papers prepared externally provided some useful insights into recent innovations in money markets and their implications for the implementation of monetary policy. Meanwhile, the sessions devoted to the Bank's operations in financial markets were designed to provide market practitioners and academics with further insight into how the Bank operates in these markets.
  • Speculative Behaviour, Regime-Switching and Stock Market Crashes

    Staff Working Paper 1996-13 Simon van Norden, Huntley Schaller
    This paper uses regime-switching econometrics to study stock market crashes and to explore the ability of two very different economic explanations to account for historical crashes. The first explanation is based on historical accounts of "manias and panics."
    Content Type(s): Staff Research, Staff Working Papers Topic(s): Financial markets JEL Code(s): C, C4, C40, E, E4, E44, G, G1, G12
  • Provincial Credit Ratings in Canada: An Ordered Probit Analysis

    Staff Working Paper 1996-6 Stella Cheung
    The author estimates the relationship between the provincial credit ratings, as assessed by Standard & Poor's, and a number of economic variables, using the ordered probit methodology. All the variables in her estimation prove to be significant. In particular, she finds that downgrades take place at almost the same speed at different levels of the debt-to-GDP ratio, based on a pooled sample of nine provinces.
    Content Type(s): Staff Research, Staff Working Papers Topic(s): Financial markets JEL Code(s): H, H6, H63
  • Switching Between Chartists and Fundamentalists: A Markov Regime-Switching Approach

    Staff Working Paper 1996-1 Robert Vigfusson
    Since the early 1980s, models based on economic fundamentals have been poor at explaining the movements in the exchange rate (Messe 1990). In response to this problem, Frankel and Froot (1988) developed a model that uses two approaches to forecast the exchange rate: the fundamentalist approach, which bases the forecast on economic fundamentals, and the chartist approach, which bases the forecast on the past behaviour of the exchange rate.
    Content Type(s): Staff Research, Staff Working Papers Topic(s): Financial markets JEL Code(s): C, C4, C40, G, G1, G12
  • The Electronic Purse: An Overview of Recent Developments and Policy Issues

    Technical Report No. 74 Gerald Stuber
    Futurists have been speculating about the prospects for a cashless society for many years, and such predictions became more frequent following the introduction of "smart" cards - cards containing a computer chip - in the mid-1970s.
  • December 10, 1995 Developments in trusteed pension funds

    Trusteed pension funds are one of the most important sources of retirement income for Canadians. They have also been one of the fastest-growing sectors of the Canadian financial market. Trusteed pension funds play an important role in capital markets, channelling billions of dollars of their members' contributions into investments in financial and real assets. This article presents an overview of the trusteed pension funds sector. It provides a context for this overview by briefly presenting other sources of retirement income in Canada. It then examines the sources of the sector's rapid growth, including regulatory developments that have affected it, namely the increase in allowable foreign content and the adoption of the prudent person rule. Finally, it looks at the evolution of the sector's asset mix and how the sector interacts with capital markets.
  • December 9, 1995 Survey of the Canadian foreign exchange and derivatives markets

    Since 1983, the Bank of Canada has conducted a triennial survey of foreign exchange market activity in Canada. The latest survey was done in April 1995 and covered activity in both the foreign exchange market and in the derivatives markets. The central banks of most other industrialized countries with active foreign exchange and derivatives markets also conducted similar surveys. This was the first time that markets for over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives were surveyed by central banks in a systematic and comprehensive fashion. The average daily turnover in the Canadian foreign exchange market, including foreign exchange derivatives, has continued to grow rapidly (by approximately 36 per cent to about U.S.$30 billion) since the last survey, although at a slower pace than during the 1980s. Foreign exchange and interest rate derivatives contracts dominate derivatives market activity, with equity and commodity derivatives activity being almost negligible in comparison. Through April 1995, daily turnover volume in Canadian foreign exchange and interest rate derivatives markets averaged about U.S.$19 billion and U.S.$15 billion, respectively, mostly in forward and swap transactions.
  • November 10, 1995 The Government of Canada bond market since 1980

    This article focusses on a key component of the federal government's debt-management program, Government of Canada marketable bonds. It first provides a broad overview of the characteristics of these bonds and then discusses the workings of the domestic market, from the formulation of a debt-management strategy to the primary issuance of the bonds, the delivery and payment process, and transactions in the secondary market. Recent developments that have enhanced the overall efficiency of the market are also examined. This article is part of a series that describes and analyses features of the Canadian financial sector.

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