Euroclear Bank is pleased to have been granted access to Russia's central securities depository (CSD) by Russia's Federal Financial Markets Service to offer post-trade services for Russian OFZs, one of the most actively traded classes of Russian government bonds.
Euroclear Bank will also be able to offer services for other Russian government and municipal bonds, corporate bonds and securities issued by foreign entities. This welcome development ends months of speculation as to whether OFZs would become 'Euroclearable'.
The availability of Euroclear Bank's services for OFZs and other securities is dependant upon Russian public authority approval of National Settlement Depository (NSD) as Russia's official central securities depository, and related regulatory procedures. Plans for Euroclear Bank's OFZ and other Russian fixed-income securities services include cross-border transaction processing, asset servicing and collateral management.
Frederic Hannequart, Chairman of Euroclear Bank, said: "The bilateral NSD/Euroclear Bank link aims to provide the highest level of asset protection for clients using the service. OFZ and other Russian fixed-income trades will be able to settle with Euroclear Bank; settlement risk should decline as settlement finality will be based solely on the National Settlement Depository's records. Working directly with NSD is the best way forward to achieve the levels of efficiency, effectiveness and operational risk control that our clients expect. We welcome the decision taken by the Federal Service for Financial Markets to grant Euroclear Bank access to NSD."
Eddie Astanin, Chief Executive Officer of Russia's National Settlement Depository, commented: "Client abilities to conduct cross-border transactions in accounts opened with our organisations means increased transparency and, as a consequence, improved attractiveness of the Russian market for global investors. We expect this step will have a positive impact on exchange activities of Russian issuers, where they will reach a greater pool of national and foreign investors."
Upon launch of the link with NSD, Euroclear Bank will have links with CSDs in 45 major countries. The Russian rubble is already one of 54 settlemlement currencies in Euroclear Bank.
NSD has links with CSDs/ICSDs in seven countries.
Russian on-exchange equity market capitalisation increased by 7.8% in the first half of 2012, reaching the equivalent of USD 539 billion. Total Russian debt outstanding is valued at USD 302 billion of which 58% are government bonds, with the remainder in exchange bonds, corporate and regional bonds.
Euroclear and NSD (formerly known as The National Depository Center - NDC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2007, laying the foundation for information sharing and potential future co-operative initiatives. Both organisations specifically agreed to explore collaborative opportunities in the fields of clearing and settlement in the Russian market.