- We have seen the first SOFR block trade in significant size.
- Fannie Mae have issued another $5bn of SOFR linked debt this month.
SOFR Swaps Are Trading More Frequently
Thanks to our SDR Alerts, I get an email every time SOFR or SOFR Basis trades. Over the month of October 2018, the frequency of these emails has been steadily increasing into my inbox:
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The First SOFR block trade
The volumes reported in SOFR swaps had been quite underwhelming – until yesterday. It looked like a lot of test trades, for both basis (vs Fed Funds) and outright were going on.
And then at 14:37 CET yesterday, we get a block trade:
- 2 year tenor.
- Spot starting (T+2).
- $460m+. The trade is only reported up to the block threshold, so we don’t know the exact size.
- Traded OFF-SEF. Shame – this means that we can’t cross check the volume versus SEFView to reverse engineer the uncapped volume.
- Annual payments both sides.
- Fixed rate of 2.7105% (Act/360).
SOFR Basis is Moving
When we first reported, we saw that 1 year SOFR basis was trading at SOFR -1 basis point versus Fed Funds flat. This has since widened to SOFR -4 basis points versus Fed Funds flat. Is that a significant move? It’s hard to say really. These are early days, with a total of just $500m traded in the basis during October. So there is a lot of price-forming still to go – especially when a single 2 year trade has potentially just doubled the total amount of SOFR DV01 ever traded!
SOFR October Overview
In one chart, this is what I believe has traded:
With a bit more colour. During October 2018:
- There have been 10 basis trades and 2 outrights reported to SDRs.
- All basis trades have been in clips of $50m.
- 1y SOFR basis traded 5 times at -4 across 3 separate days.
- 3y SOFR is the longest trade that we’ve seen so far.
But October is really all about the huge block trade we saw in 2y outright SOFR.
Of course, I was intrigued why the sudden two-year outright block trade. So I went searching for some recent SOFR issue. What I found is from the CME SOFR Portal:
- Now that’s a handy table! And far more complete than when I google “SOFR Bond Issues”. Don’t even bother searching “bond rumours” unless you are really into 007.
- I’m surprised that the Fannie Mae issue on the 31st October is on there already – I guess it must already be priced and announced, and the date is the settlement date of the issue.
- So Fannie Mae have just issued another $5bn, meaning that they are now $11bn of the outstanding $16bn SOFR issues!
- Even though the maturities do not match (even closely), I don’t think it is too much of a stretch to imagine that the large 2 year block trade in SOFR was tied to this Fannie Mae issuance.
- Does anyone know if the equivalent table is being maintained for SONIA issues as well?
- October 2018 has been a “record month” for SOFR swaps activity. Hardly surprising!
- Fannie Mae issued $5bn of SOFR linked debt at the end of the month.
- There was the first SOFR block trade – a $460m+ 2 year outright swap that was probably tied to this Fannie Mae issuance activity.