The euro sign is photographed in front of the former head quarter of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt
The euro sign is photographed in front of the former head quarter of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Germany, April 9, 2019.

MarketAxess, Tradeweb and Bloomberg said on Wednesday they were exploring a single price feed for corporate and government bonds in the European Union as the bloc works to better integrate its capital market.

The EU plans to amend its securities rules to require a single price feed, or "consolidated tape", of trading across different platforms in the bloc for investors and banks, helping to knit markets and improve data quality.

"The consolidated tape service is expected to be provided - subject to the relevant regulatory approvals - via a joint-venture company established and operated independently from our respective businesses," Tradeweb, MarketAxess and Bloomberg said in a joint statement.

All three already operate their own approved publication arrangements (APAs) for reporting trades.

The draft law is being negotiated by EU states and the European Parliament, but it is unclear when the final green light will be given as exchanges are pushing back on how a tape would work for stocks.

There are already stock and bond tapes on U.S. markets, and Britain is also considering a fixed income market tape.

The EU envisages tapes for a range of asset classes, with the procurement process, authorisation and supervision undertaken by the bloc's European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA).

"We believe that the European Commission's draft proposed legislative revisions would open a window to developing a robust consolidated tape that will increase market transparency and help facilitate an integrated, single European capital market," the three companies said.

"As a next step, we are preparing a competitive request for information process to review independent third-party technology and operating partner(s) for the consolidated tape service."

A key issue to resolve for a bond tape is how to better standardise deferrals, or the amount of time data is published after the transaction in order to make a tape more timely.