Following consultations with its members and other public sector and private sector representatives, ICMA has published revised and updated collective action clauses (CACs) and a  new standard pari passu clause for inclusion in the terms and conditions of sovereign debt securities.The use of these new terms in sovereign notes is intended to facilitate future sovereign debt restructurings. 

ICMA STANDARD CACs - August 2014


The Peterson Institute for International Economics has published a useful article in regard to the ICMA sovereign debt contract reforms, entitled "A Sensible Step to Mitigate Sovereign Bond Dysfunction" by Anna Gelpern on 29 August 2014.

2 September 2011
ICMA responsed to the consultation with interested parties, launched under cover of a letter dated 23 July 2011 from the Chairman of the EFC Sub-Committee on EU Sovereign Debt Markets, in respect of CACs to be included in all new euro area government securities beginning in July 2013. To access the response, please click here

In November 2001, the IMF’s First Managing Director, Anne Krueger proposed that sovereign debt crises be subject to a sovereign bankruptcy regime administered by the IMF. This proposal has been widely criticised by the private sector and there have been calls for a more voluntary, decentralised approach to making the resolution of sovereign financial crises more orderly.

ICMA has been active with other trade associations, SIFMA (and its predecessor associations) and EMTA, in encouraging the use of collective action clauses (majority enforcement and majority restructuring provisions) in sovereign bond contracts and the agreement of a code of conduct - a non-binding statement of best practices to prevent and resolve financial market abuse. ICMA (as IPMA) has been at the forefront of the debate over the design and effectiveness of those clauses. Almost all EM sovereigns have adopted various forms of CACs in their New York and English law Eurobonds and globals. The EU agreed to include CACs in their "foreign jurisdiction" bonds starting in June 2003.

The Association published a standard form of CACs.  

Related documents:

22 November 2004
Press release re Agreed Principles for Stable Capital Flows and Fair Debt Restructuring in Emerging Markets

28 October 2004
CAC's Guidance Note 16

28 October 2004
CAC's Recommendation 1.23

28 October 2004
New CAC Clauses

28 October 2004
Collective Action Clauses

11 November 2003
Speech by Robert Gray, Chairman of IPMA

28 July 2003
Towards a Code of Conduct for Sovereign Debt Restructuring

31 January 2003
Model Collective Action Clauses

19 December 2002
Discussion Paper on Sovereign Debt Restructuring

11 June 2002
Joint Press Release on Sovereign Debt Restructuring

6 June 2002
IMF Paper on Collective Action Clauses
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