Luxembourg-based NowCM, the digital bond issuance platform, has been involved in more than €10 billion of bond and commercial paper issuances to date. Last week it announced a collaboration with Singapore’s Marketnode, the blockchain platform founded by The Singapore Exchange (SGX) and government-owned investment firm Temasek. The two companies will work together on the digitalization of Asia-Pacific primary debt markets.
NowCM buys Nivaura assets
This follows the news three weeks ago that NowCM acquired the key assets of Nivaura, the capital markets automation firm backed by the London Stock Exchange. The stock exchange also deployed Nivaura’s technology as part of its DCM Flow platform. While Nivaura was not a blockchain company, it provided a workflow solution for bond issuance in a DLT-ready solution, enabling tokenization independent of any particular blockchain technology.
At the time, Nivaura’s CEO Scott Eaton, said, “Industry consolidation is a necessary step to bringing automation to capital markets and NowCM is a great partner to take our technology forward to the next level.”
Marketnode, NowCM collaboration
The Marketnode Gateway workflow solution for fixed income issuers has been integrated with NowCM’s transaction management platform targeting Asia-Pacific clients. It will support SGX-listed bonds but also others elsewhere.
The aim is to remove manual steps in the process, which enables bonds to be issued faster with smaller minimum sizes because of lower issuance and maintenance costs.
Marketnode started by focusing on fixed income, with a syndicated bond issuance for agribusiness Olam. In September 2021, it was announced that ten banks would use its platform, including Barclays, BNP Paribas, BNY Mellon, Citi, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Orient Securities International, Standard Chartered, Societe Generale and UOB. Since then, it has extended its offerings to piloting fund settlement and tokenizing wealth management products.
NowCM is acquisitive
Meanwhile, the purchase of the Nivaura assets may be part of an acquisition roadmap for NowCM. Just over a year ago, a majority stake in NowCP was acquired by EPPF, founded by current NowCM CEO Robert Koller. The companies were partners before the acquisition.
NowCP was rebranded to NowCM (Now capital markets). It provides a workflow solution for debt issuance and a Paris-regulated marketplace that started with commercial paper but recently expanded its license to support bonds and Schuldschein. NowCM’s founding minority shareholders include Amundi, Crédit Agricole CIB, Natixis, S2iEM and Orange.