01.09.2012
By Terry Flanagan

Nasdaq Expands in Baltic

The exchange operator now has control of all the exchanges and clearing houses in the Baltic region, solidifying its growth strategy in the region.

Nasdaq OMX recently announced the acquisition of Lithuania’s Central Securities Depository from the Bank of Lithuania, which cements its presence in the region. The deal, valued at €3.8 million ($4.9 million), was made through the Nasdaq Helsinki OY affiliate. With the deal, Nasdaq OMX dominates the trading landscape in the region.

“Through this acquisition Nasdaq OMX owns all stock exchanges and central depositories in the three Baltic countries,” Hans-Ole Jochumsen, president of Nasdaq OMX Nordic and Baltic markets told Markets Media. “Hence it completes our ownership structure in the Baltics and is a natural step in making the region more integrated and attractive to companies and investors. The Baltic markets are still in the emerging phase, but with great potential for rapid development, it is important for Nasdaq OMX to continue to have a strong presence in this region.”

As regulatory scrutiny continues to affect the markets, clearing, settlement and risk management have become more important than ever for market participants.

“Clearing has always been an important part of our Nordic operations and strategy and we continuously develop our own derivatives clearing house,” said Jochumsen. “The post trade transaction flow is becoming increasingly important, not only from a revenue standpoint but also from a regulatory perspective as more and more instruments are being forced into central clearing.”

Acquiring the remaining stake in the CSD of Lithuania allows it to integrate the trading and post-trading services, creating a so-called vertical silo model that has been proliferating in many regions.

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