Transaction Cost Analytics for Corporate Bonds
39 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2019 Last revised: 11 Feb 2021
Date Written: March 21, 2019
Electronic platform has been increasingly popular for the execution of large orders among asset managers dealing desks. Properly monitoring each individual trade by the appropriate Transaction Cost Analysis (TCA) is the first key step towards this electronic automation. One of the challenges in TCA is to build a benchmark for the expected transaction cost and to characterize the price impact of each individual trade, with given bond characteristics and market conditions.
Taking the viewpoint of a given investor, we provide an analytical methodology to conduct TCA in corporate bond trading. With limited liquidity of corporate bonds and patchy information available on existing trades, we manage to build a statistical model as a benchmark for effective cost and a non-parametric model for the price impact kernel. Our TCA analysis is conducted based on the TRACE Enhanced dataset and consists of four steps in two different time scales. The first step is to identify the initiator of a transaction and the riskless-principle-trades (RPTs). With the estimated initiator of each trade, the second step is to estimate the bid-ask spread and the mid-price movements. The third step is to estimate the expected average cost on a weekly basis via regularized regression analysis. In this step, OLS, two-step Lasso, and Elastic Net are adopted and compared to identify key features for the bid-ask spread. The final step is to investigate each trade for the amplitude of its price impact and the price decay after the transaction for liquid corporate bonds. Here we apply a transient impact model (TIM) to estimate the price impact kernel via a non-parametric method.
Our regularized regression approach for explanatory variable selection is in contrast with the existing literature, which takes the viewpoint of an anonymous representative trading agent and uses the standard OLS. Our benchmark model allows for identifying and improving best practices and for enhancing objective and quantitative counter-party selections. A key discovery of our study is the need to account for a price impact asymmetry between customer-buy orders and consumer-sell orders.
Keywords: Bond liquidity, transaction costs analysis, riskless principal trades, price impact, Enhanced TRACE
JEL Classification: G12, G19, G24, G28
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation