6 Financials to Join in Bond Marketplace

Bloomberg News

Six of the world’s largest financial services companies will expand an online marketplace for corporate bonds, allowing research, prices and inventory from all six to be seen on one computer screen.

Although the program is currently for institutional investors, the move may eventually pave the way for wider online corporate bond trading by individuals.

Lehman Bros., Merrill Lynch & Co., and J.P. Morgan will join the venture’s original partners, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter and Citigroup’s Salomon Smith Barney unit, in owning a majority stake in Securities.Hub that will incorporate and expand Bond.Hub, an Internet marketplace begun in December, which posts $10 billion in fixed-income securities daily.

Securities.Hub should be running within weeks, participants said.

“There will be sortable research headlines,” said Dave Olsen, vice president of J.P. Morgan’s fixed-income syndicate. “There will be sortable aggregate corporate bond inventory positions. It’s part of the rush toward the Internet.”