From the Collaborative Bond and Money Market Data Portal
In the Collaborative Bond and Money Market Data Model, the MTN classification appears within the field Security Type which is part of the universe of Bond and Money Market Instruments.
Definition: A Medium Term Note (MTN) is a negotiable debt instrument that promises to pay the bearer or registered owner an amount or a number of amounts in the future.
As permitted by applicable securities laws, this instrument entitling the owner to a set of future cash flows, can be bought and sold to anyone. This negotiability distinguishes the instrument from a bilateral loan, where in theory you cannot sell the future cash-flows without the permission of payer.
Despite the suggestion that the instrument has a medium term, short term and also long term MTNs equally exists. Medium term in itself also has no strict definition. In some markets it can mean somewhere around 5 years, whilst in others it could mean 10 or even 15 years.
The term MTN can sometimes mean that the instrument was issued under the legal terms and conditions of a Medium Term Note Programme. However, MTN programmes are not restricted to just issuing notes with a medium term. MTN programmes exist in a wide range of formats both within international markets as well as within domestic markets, like f.e. a BMTN programme in France. (see definition of the term market)
In capital market data analysis it is therefore recommendable to look beyond the segmentation of markets by mere security type and instead focus on the actual term and structure of the instrument. However, a distinction between CP, CD and Bills as instruments of the below 1 year money markets and Bonds, Notes and MTNs as instruments of the over 1 year bond markets seems fair.
Based on available data, on the 7th of December 2017, the size of the MTN, Notes and Bond market was USD37.3tn.
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