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Citi announces strategic investment in FinTech Cicada

By Delisha Fernandes

May 10, 2024

  • Citi
  • E-trading
  • Fintech news
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Citi

Citi has made a strategic minority investment in Cicada, a FinTech based in Greenwich, to facilitate institutional e-trading of Mexican Government Bonds.

The investment was made by Citi’s Markets Strategic Investments unit, which is responsible for the sourcing and execution of strategic investments relevant to Citi’s Markets franchise. Citi will also act as a liquidity provider for the trading platform.

“We are excited to invest in Cicada. The technology of the trading platform, together with Citi’s partnership, has the potential to enhance the efficiency of the multi-billion-dollar Mexican fixed-income market,” said Aldo Alvarez, LatAm Lead at Citi’s Markets Strategic Investments unit.

Cicada has built an innovative all-to-all electronic alternative trading system (ATS) that helps global institutional buy-side and sell-side market participants trade Mexican Government fixed-income securities without the need for a pre-existing trading relationship. The ATS is registered with the SEC, and the broker-dealer activities of Cicada Securities LLC (a subsidiary of Cicada technologies Inc.) are regulated by FINRA.

Cicada enables the e-trading of 28 Mexican government bonds, including nominal fixed-rate notes (Mbonos) and inflation-linked securities (UDIBonos) that can settle in Indeval, Euroclear or Clearstream. The company is also looking to enable the trading of Cetes (Mexican T-bills), TIIE (Mexican interest rate swaps), Mexican corporate bonds and other emerging markets government securities.

Ignacio Tovar, co-founder of Cicada, said, “Traders are embracing technology quickly, and currently 15 well-known institutions are active on the platform, and 10 are in the process of joining. Since launching last year, the trading volume on the platform has grown 15 times.”

Cicada aims to speed the adoption of e-trading via a Central Limit Order Book (CLOB) and Request for Quotes (RFQ) protocols. The platform also offers automation tools for buy-side and liquidity providers, efficient execution of trades, connectivity to post-trade services and data analysis of live and historical bond prices.

Through investments in start-ups and early-stage companies, MSI promotes the development and adoption of new technologies, market structures and solutions to drive innovation.

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