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Hedge Funds to Get New SEC Mandate for US Treasuries Trade

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Hedge funds and brokerages have new requirements from the Securities and Exchange Commission to centrally clear far more of their US Treasuries trades in a structural overhaul for the $26tn market, according to a report by Bloomberg.

The report noted that the SEC voted Wednesday to require that all transactions involving repurchase agreements use clearinghouses, which sit between buyers and sellers to complete transactions. In a partial win for hedge funds, they would be exempt from having to centrally clear their cash Treasuries trades, according to the agency. Still, the new rules could bolster oversight of highly leveraged strategies such as the basis trade — which use the repo market and that US officials say can pose broad dangers.

For government securities dealers and brokers, the SEC’s new central clearing mandate would apply to Treasuries transactions in both the cash and repurchase markets, according to the SEC. In a repo agreement, one party provides securities as collateral to another in exchange for cash.

The SEC had proposed last year that hedge funds also would have to centrally clear Treasuries trades in the cash market. It’s unclear whether the decision to drop that from the final rule will satisfy critics, who called the original plan unworkable and said it may force companies to exit the market. Hedge funds are already challenging multiple SEC regulations, the report added.

 

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