Italian central securities depository Monte Titoli has launched the first phase of its net settlement system, Express II.
The launch of Express II has involved the participation of around 350 intermediaries and has affected approximately 5,350 non-convertible bonds issued by private issuers.
Monte Titoli, which is part of the Borsa Italiana group, says for the first time a settlement cycle has been performed overnight and the settlement balances - both securities and cash - have been settled at the start of the working day.
The company says the integration of Express II with Banca d'Italia's payment system enabled 99.07% of transactions to be settled during the overnight cycle, rising to 99.73% at the end of the daytime cycle, at which point only the remaining 0.27% have been submitted to Express II's gross settlement service.
Giovanni Sabatini, CEO of Monte Titoli, says Express II "is the fruit of the close collaboration between the authorities, markets, central counterparties and dealers and has the dual aim of bringing Italian post-trading structures in line with international best practices."
Sabatini adds: "Planning of the new functionalities of Express II is already underway, which aims to improve its interaction with the securities settlement systems and payment systems of other countries."
Express II will be extended to all other financial instruments, government securities and shares in January 2004.