05.08.2012

Six Looks To Clear Up In Europe

05.08.2012
Terry Flanagan

Six Securities Services continues to expand its post-trade business in Europe as it looks to tap into the potential of one of the region’s fastest growing emerging markets.

The clearing and settlement arms of the Swiss-based post-trade services provider, Six x-clear and Six SIS, have signed a memorandum of understanding with Takasbank and MKK, Turkey’s domestic providers for post-trade services, to establish international post-trade services for Turkey.

“We are excited by the prospect of working with the Turkish market as a whole,” said Urs Wieland, chief executive of Six x-clear. “Now we are focusing on implementation and moving quickly to bring this comprehensive offering to our mutual customers. For Six Securities Services, this is just the beginning of what we believe to be enormous potential in the region.”

Turkey’s gross domestic product has risen by over 8% in the each of the last five years and has done so without having abundant raw materials to mine, which has been a major driver of other emerging markets globally. The main components of the Turkish economy are financials and consumer companies.

The agreement also covers the exploration of joint business opportunities—especially in the area of Islamic finance products and access to the respective markets. The MoU, signed in Zurich, is the result of two years of discussion and collaboration between all four institutions. First benefits of this co-operation are expected as early as 2013.

This latest announcement is part of clearing firm Six x-clear’s push to provide greater interoperability, or the use of multiple clearers at the same exchange, in the post-trade space across Europe and beyond.

After European regulators gave the green light to expand interoperability in July last year, in a bid to open access to the post-trade space, Six x-clear has expanded into additional markets, including the Bats Chi-X Europe, Turquoise and Burgundy exchanges. Six x-clear has operated interoperability on the main London Stock Exchange (LSE) since 2008 and now clears approximately 27% of all LSE trades. It also provides clearing services for the main Swiss stock exchange.

“The transformation of the European equities market continues as more trading platforms offer interoperable clearing,” said Diana Chan, chief executive of EuroCCP, a pan-European cash equities clearing house. “The increased competition that follows delivers greater choice and lower costs to trading and clearing firms.”

However, the as yet un-defined rules for European Market Infrastructure Regulation (Emir) continue to cloud the issue. The European-wide regulation that will govern clearing is set to come into force at the start of next year.

Despite Emir being approved by the European parliament at the end of March, regulators continue to worry about the potential systemic risks that interoperability may bring.

One exchange group, Nasdaq OMX, which operates seven Nordic and Baltic exchanges, recently postponed plans to join the growing list of European exchanges to offer customers a choice of clearing house, citing regulatory concerns. It wants to wait and see how the regulations fully pan out before committing to the new rules.

Alternative trading venues and traders have been behind the drive for interoperability, which offers traders a choice of who processes their transactions, cutting the cost of post-trade services.

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