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Euroclear Belgium switches to electronic registration system

07 January 2008  |  1696 views  |  0 Source: Euroclear Belgium

Euroclear Belgium announces the accomplishment of a key objective in the successful transition to a paper-free securities market in Belgium.

The conversion to a new electronic registration process covering all Belgian bearer securities traded on a regulated market and held by investors took place at Belgium's central securities depository - Euroclear Belgium - over the first weekend of the New Year. Transaction settlement is working seamlessly since the transition.

As of 1 January 2008, all Belgian entities are only able to issue new securities in dematerialised or registered form, meaning that it is no longer possible for Belgian issuers to issue securities in physical form.

Stéphane Bernard, Chief Executive Officer of Euroclear Belgium, said: "My colleagues and I are delighted to have successfully complied with the government's first critical fixed deadline in the conversion to a paperfree capital market. The education programmes organised by Belgium's Dematerialisation Task Force for banks and about 200 exchange-listed companies, and dematerialisation monitoring tools, such as Euroclear Belgium's Capitrack, eased the transition process for all concerned."

Ignace Combes, Chairman of Euroclear Belgium, added: "The migration to electronic registration is an important milestone in the modernisation of Belgium's securities market. The excellent work conducted thus far in the securities dematerialisation process is the result of high levels of cooperation within the Belgian capital market, directly with issuers and financial intermediaries, and through Febelfin, the Belgian financial sector association."

Euroclear Belgium has destroyed about 15 million paper securities, representing about 250 tons of paper, over the past three years as part of the dematerialisation process. More than 40 million securities, or 600 tons of paper, worth about EUR 270 billion that are currently in Euroclear Belgium's vaults, are targeted for destruction over the next six years. In fact, by 31 December 2013 all paper-based securities, including the EUR 5-6 million of securities estimated to be in circulation by private investors, must be surrendered and converted into electronic registrations.

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