Difference Between Euro Note Market and Euro Commercial Paper Market

The Euromarkets are the single most important source of commercial loan funds for the developing countries. The development and operation of Eurocurrency markets have played a very significant role in the post war international financial system. Indeed the explosive growth in international banking and bank lending could not have come about but for the Eurocurrency markets.

Simply stated, the term Eurocurrency refers to a currency deposited in a bank outside the home country of that currency. Therefore, Eurocurrencies and Eurocurrency markets are outside the regulatory framework of any monetary authority-the monetary authority of the place where the deposit is made is not concerned with non-residents depositing or borrowing foreign currencies, which does not affect the domestic money supply. It is also outside the control of the monetary authority of the home country of the currency concerned because the transaction takes place outside the country.

Inter-Bank Markets

Apart from customer transactions, there is an extremely active inter-bank market in Eurocurrencies. Banks acting in the market are continuously trading Eurodollar deposits in the inter-bank market. Such active banks would readily offer a two-way quote-the rate at which they are willing to take a deposit, and the rate at which they are willing to place deposits. The two rates are referred to as bid and offered rates-hence the terms, London inter-bank rate (LIBID) and London inter-bank offered rate (LIBOR)-and the differences between the two represents the trading margin of the bank. Generally, it is of the order 1/8 percent. For calculation of interest on currencies other than the British pound, Eurodollar deposits in particular, the year is reckoned to be of 360 days. Thus, the actual interest would be worked out on the actual number of days divided by 360.

Note Issuance Facilities

Note Issuance Facility (NIF) is a medium term commitment on the part of underwriting banks which obliges them to purchase any short term notes which the borrower is unable to sell in the market, at an agreed spread over a suitable benchmark. The benchmark could be LIBOR, the T-bill rate, etc. Once a note issuance facility is in place, the borrower can issue short term paper and sell it in the capital market. To the extent the borrower can sell notes at a spread lower than that at which the underwriters are committed to buy, this helps in reducing the cost of borrowing. Another major advantage of a note issuance facility is that, since the notes are short term, this may allow the borrower to access investors who may not be interested in committing medium term funds but may be quite happy to buy short-term paper. The NIF can thus be used to diversify the investor base. To an extent, the NIF is something of a halfway mark between syndicated loans on the one hand and bond issues on the other. With some marginal variations in the basic structure of the facility, NIFs are sometimes also referred to as revolving underwriting facilities (RUFs), note purchase facilities or Euro note facilities.


Euro notes are short term bonds sold by a borrower directly to the investors with or without the underwriting support of the commercial banks.

Euro-Commercial Paper

Like Euro notes under NIFs, CPs is also short term paper issued by non-bank borrowers. The principal distinguishing feature is that commercial papers are not underwritten by a bank and the issuer, therefore, is one with very high credentials. The paper is usually issued in higher denominations of the order of $ 100,000 and the market is dominated by large professional investors. Although these can be issued in interest -bearing form, they are usually issued at a discount to face-value and quoted in the secondary market on a yield basis.

Euro Notes and Euro Commercial Paper Markets

A recent innovation in non-bank short-term credits that bears a strong resemblance to commercial paper is the so-called Euro note. Euro notes are short term notes usually denominated in dollars and issued by corporations and governments. The prefix “Euro” indicates that the notes are issued outside the country in whose currency they are denominated. The interest rates are adjusted each time the notes are rolled over. Euro notes are often called Euro commercial paper. Typically, though, the name Euro-CP is reserved for those Euro notes that are not underwritten. There are some differences between the U.S. commercial paper and the Euro-CP markets. For one thing, the average maturity of Euro-CP is about twice as long as the average maturity of U.S. CP. Also Euro-CP is actively traded in secondary market, but most U.S. CP is held to maturity by the original investors. Central banks, commercial banks and corporations are important part of the investor base for particular segments of Euro-CP market; the most important holders of U.S. CP are money market funds, which are not very important in the Euro-CP market. In addition, the distribution of U.S. issuers in the Euro-CP market is of significantly lower than the distribution of U.S. issuers in the U.S. CP market. An explanation of this finding may lie in the importance of banks as buyer of less-than-prime paper in the Euro-CP market.

Another important difference in practice between the two markets is in the area of ratings. Only about 45% of active Euro-CP issuers at year end 1986 were rated. Credit ratings in the United States, on the other hand are ubiquitous. This difference may prove transitory, however as investors become accustomed to the concept and the rating agencies facilitate the use of their services.

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