EMTA is the principal trade group for the global Emerging Markets trading and investment community and has worked since 1990 to promote the orderly development of fair, efficient and transparent trading markets for EM instruments (including bonds, loans, FX, derivatives and local market instruments) and to help integrate EM into the global capital markets. In addition to its ongoing activities (summarized below), EMTA provides a well-recognized forum that enables the EM trading and investment community to identify, discuss and address industry needs and to speak, when necessary, with a strong and credible voice on behalf of a broad spectrum of market participants.
Governance. EMTA’s Board of Directors is composed of leading market participants from 24 of the EM market’s major trading and investment firms. EMTA maintains a small staff of dedicated professionals headquartered in NYC, with a presence in London.
Regular Activities. EMTA’s regular activities include the following:
- Developing market practices, explanatory primers and legal documentation that respond to market needs arising from new instruments or products or trading opportunities or issues
- Monitoring the policies of governments and multilateral institutions that affect the global EM trading and investment markets, and advocating industry positions when necessary to help shape such policies;
- Compiling and maintaining a database of EM key industry views and EM sovereign bond offering documentation;
- Conducting an industry-wide survey of trading volumes for EM debt instruments;
- Presenting at least nine industry gatherings each year (Spring and Fall in NYC and Winter and Summer in London, Forums in São Paulo, Buenos Aires, Singapore and Hong), as well as EMTA’s annual meeting each December, that feature discussion panels and keynote speakers (including senior finance officials from Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Russia, the IMF and the US); and
- Sponsoring annual benefit evenings in NYC and in London to support worthy charities at work in the Emerging Market countries.
In addition, EMTA maintains a state-of-the-art website (www.emta.org) recognized as the leading sources of information about not only EMTA’s own activities, but also about the EM trading and investment markets generally.
At various times, EMTA has been analogized as the EM industry’s clubhouse and as its fire station. In a practical sense, EMTA combines these two functions.
New Directions. As EM has evolved, EMTA’s agenda has also evolved to respond to a succession of differing market needs. These needs have ranged from the nuts and bolts of the inter-dealer market to policy advocacy in Washington , DC and in Europe on behalf of the broader trading and investment community.
As EM matures and converges with other fixed income asset classes, EMTA increasingly works in close collaboration with other industry associations to bring its unique EM expertise to bear in specific industry areas (such as in the articulation of fixed income research guidelines and the development of buy-in, repo and ‘flat trading’ market practices). Another notable example is in the area of NDF’s, where EMTA built upon its previous EM experiences to pioneer development and implementation of NDF architecture, market practices, legal documentation and consensus decision-making in times of acute market stress, by working closely with the FX Committee and ISDA.
Originally a sellside-oriented organization, EMTA expanded its mission in 2000 to include promoting generally greater confidence in the EM asset class for the benefit of all market participants. As a result, increasing attention has been paid to ensuring investor rights across all instrument categories.
EMTA’s leading role in the design of marketable CAC’s was instrumental in obtaining their market acceptance and in persuading policymakers that the IMF’s SDRM proposal was unnecessary and therefore no longer worth pursuing.
Track Record. Since 1990, EMTA has played a leading role in the orderly development of the marketplace for Emerging Markets financial instruments, helping to bring greater fairness, efficiency, transparency and credibility to the EM asset class. Though its agenda has evolved considerably, what has remained constant is a steady commitment to the process of building industry consensus and using the finest available EM expertise to address EM’s special challenges for the benefit of the broadest practical spectrum of EM market participants. As EMTA reaches out in new directions, the approach and leadership that have been successful in establishing this track record, and the credibility that comes with it, are more relevant in today’s highly diversified and challenging marketplace than ever before.