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IlliquidX, the London based Platform for illiquid securities, which enables sellers and buyers to price and trade illiquid distressed debt and credit securities and assets, reports trading volume of over $1bn of Lehman creditor claims since the beginning of 2010 in more than 120 separate transactions. This confirms the position of IlliquidX as a leading independent player in this asset class in Europe, with an established and growing franchise. In 2011 alone, IlliquidX achieved a 1.3%+ global market share in Lehman claims trading, based on $9bn traded globally, representing circa 3,000 claims, between January and April 2011.
Bankruptcy claims-trading enables creditors with claims against bankrupt companies to sell their interests to investors before the conclusion of a bankruptcy case. While this is a mature market in the US, it is still a growing one in Europe, and the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, as well as the Icelandic banks collapse, has helped this niche market develop on this side of the Atlantic. That said, the appetite for a market in illiquid assets is growing fast with many private equity houses and hedge funds raising significant sums from their clients to invest in the distressed market. They are now meaningful providers of liquidity in a market where traditional market makers and proprietary desks of some investment banks have disappeared. IlliquidX is playing a pivotal and unbiased role by stepping in to fill the void.
Celestino Amore, CEO and founding partner of IlliquidX said, "The more these assets are traded and thereby are transferred to new investors, the more pressure is taken out of the market providing liquidity to financial markets and enabling the economy to recover faster. However, of the $600bn of Lehman's debt, just short of 10% has been transferred from holders to investors so far, and besides this there is a lot more distressed debt hitting the market, such as Irish sovereign debt (more than €450bn owed to the Euro system), $270bn of Greek sovereign debt and Madoff claims of some $6.8billion, etc. The market still has an overhang of masses of debt and claims, and anyone who believes that the current problems have gone away is simply in denial. It feels like the lull before the storm."