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ICMA’s rules and recommendations for the secondary market

The ICMA Rule Book is available only to ICMA members and subscribers. This sub-section of the web site provides a downloadable PDF version of the most recent edition of the ICMA Rule Book.

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Amendments to the ICMA Rule Book are separately and individually notified to ICMA members and subscribers and are incorporated into the ICMA Rule Book from time to time.

ICMA’s rules and recommendations for the secondary market apply to transactions in international securities – an international security is defined as a security intended to be traded on an international, cross-border basis (i.e. between parties in different countries) and capable of settlement through an international central securities depository or equivalent.

All transactions between members of the Association involving international securities (as defined within the rules) are subject to the Association’s rules and recommendations, unless specifically agreed otherwise by the parties at the time of concluding a transaction. Unless otherwise stated, the rules and recommendations do not apply to the syndication and allotment process or to repurchase and to other transactions entered into under the GMRA or similar master agreements.

ICMA supports members with advice and guidance on the application of the rules and recommendations through its Legal & Regulatory Helpdesk.

Important updates

ICMA announces an update of its Buy-in Rules
March 01, 2017

In response to requests from ICMA’s members, ICMA’s Secondary Market Practices Committee (SMPC) proposed a review of the Buy-in and Sell-out Procedures with a view to improving their efficiency and practicability, particularly in light of more challenging market conditions. Following a lengthy consultation process with member firms, the ICMA executive committee, in close consultation and agreement with the SMPC, unanimously resolved to amend the Buy-in and Sell-out Procedures.

Most significantly, the revised rules remove the requirement to appoint a buy-in (or sell-out) agent, and provide for the party initiating a buy-in/sell-out to execute the procedure themselves (subject to certain limitations). The new rules also allow for greater flexibility for the initiating party in determining the timing of the execution of the buy-in/sell-out.  

The changes to the rules come into effect from April 3 2017.

The circular announcing and outlining the changes can be found here.


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