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International Financial Markets Essay, Research Paper

Contents

Introduction

Purpose of the Reuters Guide to the International Financial Markets

Who’s Who in the International Financial Markets

The Roles in the International Financial Markets

Traders

Brokers

Sales

Investment Institutions

Decision Support

General Management

Trader Support

Back Office

Retail Sector

Introduction to Financial Markets

Overview of Financial Markets

Types of Instruments

Equity

Debt

Commodity

Over The Counter or Exchange Traded

Cash or Derivative

Domestic or Global

Types of Markets

The Foreign Exchange (FX) Market

Fixed Income Market

Equities Market

Commodities Market

Relationships between Instruments and Markets

Types of Institutions

Banks

Building Societies

Broking Firms

Corporations

Local Authorities

Fund Management

Attributes of Institutions

Roles within Markets

Traders

Fund Managers

Corporate Treasurers

Brokers

Sales

Decision Management

General Management

Trader Support

Back Office Support

International Considerations

Foreign Exchange Traders

What Does a Foreign Exchange Trader Do?

The Foreign Exchange Trader’s Role

Specialisms Within the Foreign Exchange Market

Currencies Traded

Typical Employers

Characteristics of Foreign Exchange Traders

Demographics

Career Path

Computer Skills

Working Relationships

External Relationships

Relationships with Colleagues

The Workplace

Environment

Computer Systems

Other Equipment

Common Tasks

Form an Opinion

Receive Analysts’ Predictions

Trade on the Markets

Complete Details of a Deal

Complete Administration for the Day

Fixed Income Traders

What Does a Fixed Income Trader Do?

The Trader’s Role

Specialisation Within Fixed Income

Where are the Bond Markets?

Typical Employers

Characteristics of Fixed Income Traders

Career Path

Working Relationships

External Relationships

Relationships with Colleagues

Common Tasks

Form an Opinion

Attend the morning meeting

Trade on the Markets

Daily Administration

Information Requirements

Sales People in the Financial Markets

What Does a Salesperson Do?

The Salesperson’s Role

Specialisation Within Sales

Typical Employers

Characteristics of Salespeople

Career Path

User Characteristics

Working Relationships

Working Relationships

Common Tasks

Understand Customers’ Requirements

Answer a Customer Enquiry

Call a Customer with an Opportunity

Get a Price from a Trader

Scenario: A day in the life of a salesperson

Analysts

What Does an Analyst Do?

The Analyst’s Role

Forms of Analysis

Typical Employers

Characteristics of Analysts

Career Path

Working Relationships

External Relationships

Relationships with Colleagues

Common Tasks

Form a View of the Markets

Write the Morning Report (Sell Side)

Brief the Sales Force (Sell Side)

Monday Morning Meeting (Buy Side)

Company Visits

Broker Research

Phone Calls from Investors (Sell Side)

Information Requirements

Online Information

Other Information

Fund Managers

What Does a Fund Manager Do?

The Fund Manager’s Role

Specialisms Within Fund Management

Typical Employers

Characteristics of Fund Managers

Career Path

Working Relationships

External Relationships

Relationships with Colleagues

The Workplace

Environment

Computer Systems

Common Tasks

Monday Morning Meeting

Receiving Calls from Brokers

Analysing a Possible Investment

Assessing the Current Portfolio

Studying Broker Research

Buying and Selling

Thursday Afternoon Meeting

Information Requirements

Online Information

Other Information

Glossary

Bibliography

Chapter 1

Introduction

Purpose of the Reuters Guide to the International Financial Markets

Why The Reuters Guide to the International Financial Markets? Whenever I talk to students, especially those not studying economics, about the world of the financial markets they express huge interest but tell me they want to know more. In general this desire for information is related to being able to understand what goes on so that job hunting can be carried out from a position of knowledge rather than ignorance! This Guide, seeks to fill this gap and help, you the student, understand something of the mechanics of the International Financial Markets, the players and the sheer opportunity for satisfying and rewarding jobs within them. The Guide supplements a series of seminars which will be given in October 1997 at a number of UK universities, see the Graduate web-site, address below, for dates and locations. Of course, the markets comprise the obvious companies, such as the investments banks, but they are only part of the story. The International Financial Markets function because they receive a continuous supply of information – prices, facts, figures, news of politics, economics, natural disasters to name but a few. And it is these companies, such as Reuters, whose job it is to search out this information and to deliver it quickly, accurately and without bias. Understanding the information within the financial markets is a crucial part of understanding the market themselves – not least because the information providers are also major employers! This Guide is provided for private educational purposes only and within this usage you are free to copy it. Beyond this usage it is protected by copyright and written permission from Reuters is required prior to reproduction. To ensure the fastest possible download time from the Internet, the document is text only and it is only a guide, giving a flavour without being exhaustive. I hope you find it useful. Should you have any comments about how we might improve I would welcome them and in the meantime good reading. University Relations Department Reuters Ltd 85 Fleet St London EC4P 4AJ UK Email: ukgraduate.recruitment@reuters.com Corporate site: www.reuters.com Graduate site: www.ims.reuters.com/ukgrad

What does Reuters Guide to the International Financial Markets provide? Reuters Guide to the International Financial Markets provides a general overview of the International Financial Markets markets, for which Reuters is the major supplier of information, and roles within those markets. The document then profiles five customer groups, and provides an analysis of their roles. These groups are: + Foreign Exchange traders + Fixed Income traders + Salespeople + Analysts + Fund Managers

What is contained in the detailed analysis? Each of the profiled roles in this document contains the following information:

+ characteristics such as demographics, career path, computer literacy + working relationships both within and external to the institution where they work + common tasks.

Sources of information Information for Reuters Guide to the International Financial Markets was gathered from:

See Bibliography on + introductory finance books + internal Reuters documents + interviews with financial markets practitioners + interviews with Reuters customer trainers and marketing staff.

Chapter 2

Who’s Who in the International Financial Markets

The Roles in the International Financial Markets

The participants in the International Financial Markets work in a wide variety of roles. Figure 0.1 illustrates these roles.

Figure 1 Roles in the International Financial Markets

Traders

Traders buy and sell in the financial markets. Trading may take place at physical exchanges, for example, for commodities or futures, or over the counter, for example, in foreign exchange. A trader specialises in a particular type of financial instrument. Different types of trader have different roles and requirements. Common types of trader are described below.

Money

Money traders buy and sell currencies and short term debt to fund the business of their employer, such as lending or trade, or for profit. The instruments that they trade are usually of maturity between one month and one year. The instruments may be cash, for example, deposits, treasury bills, Certificates of Deposits or derivatives, such as Interest Rate Futures, FRAs, swaps.

Money traders work in banks and corporate treasury departments. Trading in the cash market does not take place at an exchange but is performed over the counter using telephones and dealing terminals Money traders require foreign exchange rates, bank deposit rates and news information.

Foreign Exchange

See Foreign Exchange Traders on page 33 Foreign exchange traders generally trade currencies on a shorter term basis than money traders: up to one month maturity. The trading environment is over the counter using telephones and dealing terminals. Foreign exchange traders require foreign exchange rates, bank deposit rates and news.

Bonds

See Fixed Income Traders on page 55 Bond traders buy and sell government, quasi-government and corporate bonds for customers and for their own account. They work in investment banks and securities houses. Most bond trading is over the counter. Traders’ requirements include bond data such as issuers, prices and yields; interest rates, foreign exchange rates, graphical analysis and news.

Equities

Equities traders buy and sell equities (stocks and shares) for customers and for their own account. They work for investment and securities houses and are members of an exchange, such as the London Stock Exchange for UK equities. Some traders specialise as market makers; they are obliged to quote buy and sell prices for a selection of chosen instruments at all times during market hours Most equity trading is exchange based, although large over-the-counter equity markets exist, for example NASDAQ in the US. Equities traders require equity prices, information about related instruments such as convertibles and warrants, interest rates, graphical analysis and news.

Commodities

Commodities traders buy and sell commodities such as metals, softs, grains for customers and for their own account. They are normally members of a commodity exchange, such as the Chicago Board of Trade, where trading takes place. Commodities traders work in independent companies and as part of larger financial institutions. They require market future and spot prices, graphical analysis and news.

Energy

Energy traders buy and sell energy contracts oil and gas for customers and for their own account. They are members of an exchange where the trading takes place, such as the International Petroleum Exchange in London. Energy traders work in independent companies and a small number of financial institutions. They require market future and spot prices, foreign exchange rates, graphical analysis and news.

Derivatives

Derivatives trading is a relatively new activity. Traders buy and sell derivatives instruments such as swaps, futures and options for customers and for their own account, and operate across money, bond, equity and commodity markets. Derivatives traders require a wide variety of information, including data which relates to the underlying instruments of the derivatives they trade. They need access to exchange and OTC prices, both real time and historical, plus of course, relevant news. news.

Brokers

Brokers intermediate between traders and customers. They earn commission on the deals that they arrange. Brokers do not normally manage a position, that is, own equities, currency or other instruments, in the market in which they trade. Brokers exist in the foreign exchange, bond and equity markets. They work for independent brokerage companies. Brokers require the same type of information as traders: a money broker would require foreign exchange rates, bank deposit rates, bond data, graphical analysis and news. However, brokers need to obtain this data from a large number of players in the market, so that their prices reflect the market as closely as possible.

Brokers also need to create interest in instruments to persuade their customers to do business. They need to publicise their prices and be able to respond quickly to calls asking their opinion on particular markets and instruments.

Sales

See Salespeople in the Financial Markets on page 65 Sales staff transact buy and sell orders for customers, often institutional investors, and also act as an intermediary between customers and traders. They work for investment banks, integrated securities houses and stock, commodity and energy brokerage houses, and include those working on the corporate desk. The sales function exists in all markets. In equity, commodity and energy markets, sales staff may also be known as brokers. However, sales staff differ from traditional brokerage in that they may hold positions in the market.

Sales staff may use the same information as brokers, depending on the instruments they specialise in. This includes foreign exchange rates, bond and equity data, other market prices, graphical analysis and news. They use any information they can to build relationships with customers, including leisure topics such as sport.

Investment Institutions

See Fund Managers on page 89 The primary interest of some institutions is to invest in, that is, buy and hold, instruments. These institutions are said to work on the buy side. Fund managers, portfolio managers and staff in corporate treasury invest the funds they manage in all financial markets to generate a return for the investors in those funds. Fund and portfolio managers work for pension fund and insurance companies and fund management divisions of major investment institutions. Most large companies have a corporate treasury department to manage their capital requirements, whether surplus or deficit.

Those working on the buy side use interest rate, foreign exchange, bond and equity data, typically across a broader range of markets than a trader. Corporate treasurers also require forward and deposit rates. Fund and portfolio managers require portfolio management facilities, with data-feed inputs, to value their portfolios on an intra-day or inter-day basis.

Decision Support



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