On 21 September 2020, Steven Maijoor, Chair at the European Securities and Markets Authority (“ESMA”), delivered a speech at City Week 2020 in London. He gave a summary of the most recent and upcoming steps with regard to the implementation of the Euro Short-Term Rate (“€STR”)—an unsecured, transaction-based overnight rate—as the new market standard interest rate for Euro-based borrowings.

Continue Reading ESMA Chair Steven Maijoor discusses the status of €STR, EONIA and EURIBOR

On Friday, October 9, 2020, the US Internal Revenue Service released Revenue Procedure 2020-44 (the “Revenue Procedure”), providing retroactive but limited relief for amending specific types of legacy contracts to add fallback mechanics for LIBOR or other IBORs. The fallback language included must rather strictly follow select model contract language recommended by the Alternative Reference Rate Committee (the “ARRC”) and the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (“ISDA”).

Continue Reading New Rev Proc 2020-44 Provides Limited Relief for Amending Legacy Contracts to Add IBOR Fallbacks

Artificial intelligence (“AI”) isn’t just a buzzword for eDiscovery practitioners. It’s been a part of their standard toolset for a decade now, starting with early “predictive coding” tools. eDiscovery now supports a robust, mature selection of technology-assisted review (“TAR”) AI technologies, with Continuous Active Learning being the most widely adopted. eDiscovery Practitioners thus have direct experience with the benefits (and limitations) of AI. Much of this experience can be leveraged to help businesses in IBOR transition projects.

 
Continue Reading TAR Tools Have Some Explaining to Do

On August 7, 2020, the Alternative Reference Rate Committee of the U.S. Federal Reserve (the “ARRC”) released a three-part “SOFR Starter Kit.” The first two parts[1] provide a history of the events that led to the replacement of the London Inter Bank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”), the choice of the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”) as its replacement for U.S. dollar LIBOR-based financial contracts, and how SOFR compares with LIBOR.

It is part three that brings together the numerous resources that the ARRC has published to implement its key recommendations, including links to its Best Practices (revised on September 7 to anticipate the imminent release of ISDA’s IBOR Fallback Protocol), syndicated loan conventions[2], refreshed recommended business loans fallback language[3], and an internal systems transition guide.


Continue Reading SOFR Starter Kit Tools That Should Be Adopted Immediately

The first government to issue risk-free rate (“RFR”) referenced notes in Asia is Singapore.

In August 2020, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS”) auctioned off S$500 million of six-month floating rate notes (“FRN”) with a spread over compounded Singapore Overnight Rate Average (“SORA”) in arrears.

SORA is the recommended alternative to the Singapore Interbank Offered

The Benchmark Regulation (“BMR”) came into force in 2016 and applies since 1 January 2018. It aims to regulate benchmarks, including interest rate benchmarks such as London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”), used in the EU in order to make such benchmarks more reliable. For this purpose, the Benchmark Regulation introduced licensing and registration requirements but also obligations for users of benchmarks to deal with, and provide for plans in case of, interruptions or cessations of benchmarks. The BMR, however, does not give supervising authorities the right to directly amend financial instruments or contracts if the parties to it are unable to replace a benchmark for whatever reason. So any of these plans are subject to civil law requirements and restrictions applicable to a financial instrument or contract under its governing law.

Continue Reading Proposal for a Governmental IBOR Transition in the European Union

The People’s Bank of China (“PBOC”) released a white paper on August 31, expressing its intention to adopt the Depository-Institutions Repo Rate (“DR”) as the alternative substitute rate in the Chinese banking market. Several pricing indicators were used in Chinese banking market, including Repo Rate (“R”), DR, Fixing Repo Rate (“FR”), General Collateral Repo Rate (“GC”), Loan Prime Rate (“LPR”), China Interbank Offered Rate (“CHIBOR”) and Shanghai Interbank Offered Rate (“SHIBOR”). The white paper discusses the possibility of these indicators as alternative substitute rate and concludes that amongst these, DR has become the most important indicator amongst such rates in the PRC lending market. According to the white paper, DR is the indicator which best reflects the liquidity condition and financing interest rates in the banking system, and is already widely accepted by the market.

Continue Reading Depository-Institutions Repo Rate – China’s Response to LIBOR Transition