In Australia, there are two markets for direct ownership of bonds. There’s the OTC, or Over The Counter Market, or on the ASX, which is smaller, and has a limited range. The OTC market in Australia is valued at approximately 1.6 trillion dollars, and there are over 250 separate issuers.
In the over the counter market, there is no central exchange, like you would find with the ASX. What that means is that you need a broker or dealer like, FIIG Securities, to access that market for you. When you trade bonds in the OTC market, there is what’s called, the bid-offer- spread. This means that dealers will buy a bond at a lower price from you and sell it to you at a higher price.
Typically, these brokers also provide extra services, such as custodial services, reporting and research. Traditionally, in the OTC market, bonds have been available in only 500,000 dollar minimum parcels. However, brokers such as FIIG, have made these bonds available in smaller parcels.
For example, we have over 300 bonds available in parcel sizes from 10,000 dollars. On the ASX, bonds don’t have a minimum parcel size, but the range of bonds available to purchase is very limited.