Clearstream supports new market infrastructure to strengthen link to Russia

8 November 2012
Clearstream is ready to take the necessary steps to open a direct account with National Settlement Depository (NSD), the new Russian central securities depository (CSD) in Moscow. The link signals a significant improvement in the way Clearstream’s customers will be able to access the market and follows yesterday’s announcement by Russia’s Federal Financial Markets Service (FFMS) that NSD has been granted CSD status. The creation of this new market entity forms a crucial part of the overall reconstruction of the securities market infrastructure in Russia. It should be able to deliver a substantial contribution to the government’s stated aim of developing Moscow as an international financial centre.

Clearstream is especially well positioned to put the new direct account in place as a result of the company’s close co-operation with both local market authorities and Clearstream’s sub-custodian in Moscow. This co-operation gathered pace after the new CSD law came into effect on 1 January this year and was given further impetus following the FFMS’s decision to include Clearstream in its select list of entities authorised to assume foreign nominee holder status. Once live, the new account at NSD will deliver an efficient means to hold fixed income assets – namely government debt instruments, municipal bonds and corporate bonds – in a safe and secure environment under a legally recognised nominee ownership structure exclusive to international central securities depositories (ICSDs) such as Clearstream.

Mark Gem, Member of the Executive Board and Head of Business Management at Clearstream, said: “We congratulate the NSD on achieving this landmark appointment which is crucial for delivering a safer, more efficient and liquid market. We have been very positive about the creation of the NSD from the outset and fully support this development which is part of broader plan to increase the appeal of the market to non-resident investors. We will also work with our partners on any future initiatives that provide non-resident investors the opportunity to hold a greater breadth of instruments with the clear advantages that the NSD will deliver in terms of legal safety and operational efficiency.”

Clearstream has maintained an active sub-custody link to the Russian market, via Deutsche Bank Ltd. Moscow, since May 2006 and was the first ICSD to do so. In addition, Clearstream was the first ICSD to establish the Rouble as a settlement currency, using Deutsche Bank Ltd. Moscow as its cash correspondent bank, following the introduction of the Currency Regulation Law in Russia on 1 January 2007. It was also the first ICSD to offer settlement and custody services for Russian Obligatsyi Federal’novo Zaima (OFZ) government bonds (or Federal Loan Obligations) from 1 January this year.

Clearstream provides a single point of access to multiple asset classes in multiple markets. The company is moving ever closer to the markets it serves providing local, regional as well as global solutions. Clearstream has the largest ICSD settlement network covering 53 domestic markets across the world. This network also includes all Eurozone countries and links to the major emerging economies, namely Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa. Talks are already under way on access to the Indian market to complete Clearstream’s BRICS coverage.

ICSDs such as Clearstream were set up in the 1970s to provide settlement and custody services for Eurobonds. In recent years they have established settlement links to scores of local markets and settlements of trades in domestic securities – primarily European government bonds – account today for a significant portion of the ICSD revenues. Settlement links enable ICSD participants to settle trades with other participants in the same ICSD, with participants in the other ICSDs, or with local market participants. Clearstream has evolved from being a pure Eurobond house to holding equity, funds, structured products and commodities.

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