The Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) has announced it is to create a single central counterparty (CCP), to be called the Australian Clearing House (ACH).
In a statement, Exchange managing director and CEO Richard Humphry, said the new body will provide contract guarantee support for clearing across all ASX markets.
The ACH will consolidate current licences for the clearing of equities, warrants and fixed interest products and futures and options.
As part of the restrusturing, the ASX Settlement and Transfer Corporation (ASTC) will provide payment and delivery (services) across all markets.
ASX will implement the new structure in stages, subject to regulatory approval from authorities but expects it to be fully in place by March 2004.
In the meantime, and as of 2 December 2002, the Exchange will replace the current CCP for Chess approved securities with the options clearing house (OCH) and introduce its derivatives clearing rules and approve and receive a C&S facility license covering both options and futures under FSR.
Humphry says that the exchange has been consulting regulators since June and the announcement follows a review within ASX by Chris Hamilton, executive general manager, clearing and settlement.