Markit, a UK-based financial information services company, has introduced an independent, fully-outsourced service that helps US mutual funds and other institutional investors estimate a bond's price outside of active trading hours.
The service called Markit Fair Value is designed to help mutual funds comply with the Investment Company Act, which instructs them to calculate their net asset value using the fair value of securities when a market quotation is not readily available.
The company said that the new service covers over 80,000 sovereign and corporate bonds from issuers in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.
Markit director of valuations Matthew Berry said that Markit Fair Value helps clients to address the challenge of valuing assets after the close of local markets. For mutual funds, this is a daily challenge that becomes most pronounced when market-moving events occur but markets are closed.
"On Columbus Day, for example, the US equity market rallied three percent, but the bond market was closed, which forced mutual funds to estimate the fair value of their US bonds," added Berry.