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Press Releases

HKMA to establish direct link with Euroclear

Hong Kong and Brussels, 17 December 2001 - The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and Euroclear are pleased to announce their agreement to develop a direct link between the HKMA's Central Moneymarkets Unit (CMU) and the Brussels-based international central securities depository. This fully-automated real-time link will enable investors in Hong Kong and other parts of Asia to directly hold and settle Euroclear-eligible debt securities via their CMU accounts.

Scheduled to go live by the end of 2002, the new connection will significantly improve the ability of Asian investors to access international securities and counterparties in a secure, DVP (delivery-versus-payment) environment.

In 1994, an indirect one-way link was established from Euroclear to the CMU, enabling Euroclear clients to clear and settle debt securities lodged with the CMU. This link, provided through HSBC, continues to operate very successfully.

As the world's leading ICSD, Euroclear operates an extensive global network with links to 32 domestic markets and offers settlement and related services in 43 currencies. The new link will help to promote efficient, cost-effective and low-risk cross-border securities transactions. This in turn will attract more investment activities to Hong Kong and enable Asian investors to better manage their liquidity.

Commenting on the agreement, Joseph Yam, Chief Executive of the HKMA, said: "Although the CMU is already one of the most advanced CSDs in Asia, we cannot afford to stand still. Investors and issuers in the bond markets increasingly require a global reach. And they have come to expect continual improvements in clearing and settlement arrangements so as to increase efficiency, reduce costs and contain risk. This enhancement to the excellent relationship we already have with Euroclear is a significant step in the development of efficient and safe debt trading in the region, and should be especially convenient to those managing global portfolios from or through Hong Kong."

Pierre Francotte, Chief Executive Officer, Euroclear Bank, added: "We warmly welcome the HKMA's decision to establish a direct link with Euroclear. As well as underscoring Euroclear's commitment to providing high-quality and cost-effective custody and settlement services to the Asian market, the link will also provide direct and immediate benefits to clients of both organisations. Asian investors will be able to settle Euroclear-eligible securities in their own time-zones, while clients in non-Asian markets will be able to access an even broader range of trading counterparties."

Background information about the HKMA and Euroclear:

HKMA

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority is Hong Kong's government authority responsible for maintaining monetary and banking stability, managing Hong Kong's official reserve and developing Hong Kong's financial infrastructure. The HKMA operates the CMU, which serves as an electronic depositary for debt instruments and provides related settlement facilities. These services are available to issuers and investors in Hong Kong and further afield, and for debt securities denominated in Hong Kong dollars or other currencies. The value of total overseas holdings in the CMU is HK$23.4 billion (EUR3.4 billion).

Euroclear

Euroclear is the world's largest settlement system for domestic and international securities transactions, covering both bonds and equities. Market owned and market governed, Euroclear provides a comprehensive range of securities services to major financial institutions located in more than 80 countries, and also acts as the CSD for all French securities and for Irish government bonds. The value of transactions settled annually by Euroclear is in excess of EUR 100 trillion. Euroclear Bank is rated AA+ by S&P and Fitch.

For further enquiries, please contact:

Thomas Chan, Senior Manager (Press) at (852) 2878 1480 or
Jasmin Fung, Manager (Press) at (852) 2878 8246

Hong Kong Monetary Authority
Euroclear Bank

17 December 2001

Last revision date: 1 August 2011
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