European depositories Clearstream and Euroclear are to co-operate with the newly-formed International Securities Market Advisory Group (Ismag) to deliver a set of standards for raising STP rates in issuance and servicing of international securities, including eurobonds and structured products.
The Ismag, which met Wednesday to approve the key deliverables, will oversee the implementation of a three-year project aimed at standardising issuance practices, information dissemination and the processing of corporate actions and income distributions. An industry-wide standard is targeted for 2010.
John Gubert, Ismag chairman comments: "There are still too many manual processes and a lack of standardised market practices in the international securities business. Back-office costs are too high, risks are growing in line with increasing volume and complexity, and critical information is too often misinterpreted."
The overarching objective of the initiative is to concentrate on the operational effectiveness of issuance practice and asset servicing, he says. Specific working groups will table proposals to the Ismag for approval.
The first efforts will focus on a couple of "quick wins": to improve new issues information provision with better quality and standardised documentation; and to improve the transparency and timeliness of corporate-action information.