China’s onshore bond traders were once again able to access data feeds on Friday, after a sudden regulatory ban earlier this week roiled the nation’s US$21 trillion bond market, causing volumes to slump by as much as 80 per cent at some institutions. Third-party platforms Wind Information and Dealing Matrix resumed real-time bond pricing services for clients, while Qeubee, a platform popular with onshore traders, and money broker Shanghai Tullett Prebon Sitico were yet to restore data feeds to their clients. The platforms were unable to provide data services earlier this week as upstream data sources – money brokers – were ordered by regulators to stop revealing bond prices publicly as Beijing tightened oversight on data security and financial regulation. China’s bond traders cut off from real-time services amid regulatory tightening The move to reverse the ban provided relief to thousands of traders in the world’s second-largest bond market. However, questions about China’s regulatory uncertainties remain. “Sell and buy activities have basically returned to normal,” said one trader. Some traders who could access pricing from third-party platforms said they still had to rely on other trading software, such as iDeal, an information, messaging and trading platform offered by China Foreign Exchange Trade System (CFETS), which is directly managed by China’s central bank. Trading volume fell 10.7 per cent on Wednesday to 1.27 trillion yuan (US$184.7 billion) in China’s onshore bond market, according to CFETS. The drop in volumes ranged between 10 and 80 per cent at different institutions on Wednesday and Thursday, when the data feeds were stopped, traders told the Post. On these two days, traders had to check pricing on social media platforms such as WeChat and QQ – an inefficient and old-fashioned method used by traders a few years ago – to make deals. The incident triggered concerns among investors, who warned of a ripple effect in case of an extreme event such as a large amount of redemptions in fund products, causing fund values to plunge and likely expose fund companies to big losses, according to two onshore fund managers, who did not want to be identified. Ningbo Sumscope Information Technology, the parent company of Qeubee, did not reply to calls and emails from the Post. Qeubee provides price streaming from all six licensed money brokers in China – including Tullett Prebon Sitico and Shanghai CFETS-NEX International Money Broking. Wind Information said in a statement on Friday that bond price feeds on its terminals have been fully restored. The CFETS said on Thursday evening that 92 market makers in the nation’s interbank market had continued to fulfil their responsibilities in delivering price feeds and provide the market with reference of liquidity and pricing. The CFETS will continue to motivate market makers to perform their duties to advance the high-quality development of the interbank bond market, it added. The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, which regulates money brokers and is set to be absorbed into a new powerful regulatory body as part of an overhaul, did not reply to inquiries from the Post. Chinese regulators including the People’s Bank of China have been gathering feedback from market participants on the issue, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing anonymous sources without giving further details. Authorities had ordered market makers to provide pricing quotes as much as possible, according to a Caixin report late on Wednesday.