Innovations in communications and information technology and the related globalization of financial markets have created the potential for important changes to the structure of Canadian equity markets. Established marketplaces can now compete more effectively on an inter-regional and international basis. At the same time, reduced costs have lowered the barriers to entry faced by new competitors known as alternative trading systems (ATSs). In response to this heightened competition, established Canadian stock exchanges have taken measures to improve market quality.
While regulators see innovation as positive for the development of Canadian markets, there is some concern that market liquidity may be fragmented in the short run. The Canadian Securities Administrators have proposed a framework that attempts to address this issue and that would allow ATSs to compete with traditional exchanges for the first time.
The authors provide an overview of the Canadian equity market and its structure, focusing on these recent developments.
The supply of treasury bills has fallen considerably since 1995, reflecting a decline in the financing needs of the Canadian government and a change in its debt-management strategy. This has had a major impact on different segments of the money market.
Among the various implications of this development, the authors point out the decrease in turnover and, hence, liquidity in the treasury bill market since 1995, as well as high rates of growth in the market for short-term interest rate derivatives and for short-term asset-backed securities.
The Department of Finance and the Bank of Canada, as its fiscal agent, work closely with financial market participants in the management of the federal government's debt program. From the government's perspective, maintaining a liquid well-functioning market in Government of Canada securities is a key factor in ensuring that debt-service costs are minimized. It is […]
In addition to its primary role as the country's central bank, the Bank of Canada also acts as the federal government's banker and financial adviser. One of the activities associated with this role as fiscal agent is managing the government's Canadian dollar balances. This function is examined in this article.
The main priority is to ensure that the government has sufficient cash to meet its daily needs. This requires careful forecasting and monitoring of the government's daily receipt and expenditure flows, as well as an ongoing borrowing program to refinance maturing debt and to replenish the balances during periods when outflows, on average, exceed inflows.
The cost of borrowing to raise cash balances for the government is considerably higher than the interest earned on any balances that are available "on demand." To reduce this net cost, balances in excess of those required for daily needs are invested in "term" deposits that earn a higher rate of interest than that earned on the demand balances. The net cost of holding government balances has also been reduced through the use of cash management bills, which are flexible, short-term borrowing instruments that complement the government's regular weekly issues of 3-, 6- and 12-month treasury bills.