German Government bonds, Federal notes, Federal Treasury notes and inflation-linked bonds and notes are traded on European stock exchanges, numerous international electronic trading platforms and on the over-the-counter (OTC) market.
In addition to exchange-traded German Government securities, a liquid secondary market also exists for money market papers. A turnover rate of more than five times the volume of the long-term average amount of tradable papers is a decisive factor for the benchmark status of German Government securities.
They are quoted by market makers continuously from 8.00 am until the early evening on a voluntary basis at the tightest bid-ask spreads in the euro-denominated sovereign debt market. The voluntary basis ensures that no artificial liquidity is created which could give rise to misconceptions about the depth of the market among investors.
The market for German Government securities is one of the world's largest and most liquid markets for sovereign debt. In 2016, the traded volume of a representative part of the members making up the Bund Issues Auction Group reached nearly € 4.3 tn. This means that the average nominal volume in circulation of around € 1.1 tn (excluding the Federal Government's own holdings) was turned over almost 4 times. This corresponds to a daily trading volume of more than € 17 bn.
|Trading volume (€ bn)||4,294||4,715||4,869||5,832||5,501||6,184||5,863||4,762||6,143||6,554|
In these secondary market statistics on the Bund Issues Auction Group, trading volumes (purchases plus sales, without primary market transactions, including transactions on electronic trading platforms) are captured for the financing instruments Bubills, Schaetze, Bobls, Bunds and inflation-linked securities. Capital and coupon strips as well as US-dollar bonds are excluded.
Liquidity factor futures market
Besides ensuring that German Government securities can be traded at any time, it is equally important that buy and sell orders can be executed at fair market prices. In this respect, there are no other fixed income securities on the European capital market whose price quality is comparable to that of German Government securities.
Thanks to the futures contracts on German Government securities that are traded on Eurex, trading in German Government securities is highly liquid. Most of the turnover is concentrated in the 10-year Federal bond, which serves as the underlying for the Bund future.
This high liquidity is primarily due to the futures contracts traded on the German futures & options exchange “Eurex” whose pricing is oriented to German Government securities, which are the only securities accepted for delivery. 2-, 5-, 10- and 30-year German Government securities serve as the underlyings for these futures contracts.
The main turnover on the futures market is in the contract for the ten-year Bund future in which more than 195 mn contracts and a volume of almost € 32 tn (market value) were traded in 2017. Accordingly, the 10-year Federal bond, which serves as this future's underlying, also accounts for the lion’s share of the turnover in the international secondary market for German Government securities.
Outstanding volumes of German Government securities
Monthly itemised list of outstanding German Government securities (PDF)
Monthly itemised list of outstanding German Government securities (XLS)Outstanding German Government securities as of last auction (PDF)