Several of Hong Kong and Singapore's biggest debt dealers are joining the BondsInAsia online trading platform, which officially launched yesterday after several delays. The platform allows bond investors to view bids and offers as well as execute trades online. It can also be used to download research. If use grows, this should bring transparency to a market that depends on telephone lines and handshakes to get business done. Brokers said the new system should bring more volume, making up for an expected loss in trading spreads. 'We're hoping there is going to be increased volume, although it will definitely cut into margins if there is more transparency. We're in favour of getting more and more people to the table,' a bond trader said. The platform was primarily aimed at the Asian (excluding Japan) debt market, within which Hong Kong and Singapore are the largest markets. Participants include HSBC, BNP Paribas, Citibank, Barclays Capital and Deutsche Bank, all top bookrunners in Hong Kong dollar debt. While no statistics are available on Asian bond-trading volumes, brokers said the market had been improving this year. In the first nine months, HK$75.52 billion of Hong Kong dollar bonds (including certificates of deposit) were issued, according to Thomson Financial.