SEE Link and RBI to enter into strategic partnership

RBI’s Group Securities Services Operations Center to act as post-trade infrastructure for trading on SEE Link

SEE Link, the joint trading platform of currently seven stock exchanges in Southeastern Europe (SEE), intends to deploy an innovative solution for settling cross-border trades developed by Vienna-based Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI). Representatives of the platform’s founding members, the Zagreb Stock Exchange, the Bulgarian Stock Exchange and the Macedonian Stock Exchange, and Skopje-based SEE Link itself signed a Memorandum of Understanding to that end with RBI in Vienna today.

“RBI is highly interested to see growing activity on the stock exchanges in Southeastern Europe and therefore welcomed the creation of SEE Link in 2014. We are delighted to provide the platform with our settlement and asset servicing solution. Members of participating stock exchanges will in the future be able to trade and settle trades executed on SEE Link. Furthermore, our international clients will gain easy excess to those markets through our GSS Operations Center”, explained Attila Szalay-Berzeviczy, Head of RBI Group Securities Services.

RBI’s GSS Operations Center will act as settlement engine for trades executed on SEE Link. RBI is one of the leading custodian banks in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and has already linked up with ten Central Securities Depositaries (CSD) in ten countries of the region to provide its clients with easy access to those markets. Its unique solution enables SEE Link to overcome settlement and asset servicing challenges caused by different currencies and legislations across participating countries.

  “This Memorandum of Understanding establishes the path for a very important additional piece of the puzzle of our regional order-routing infrastructure.   We are very pleased that RBI would offer its services to the regional market participants in the future in addition to the current setup. We believe that this will facilitate the challenging process of cross-border settlement in SEE and further attract new investors from outside the region”
, said Ivan Steriev, president of the Supervisory Board of SEE Link and CEO of the Macedonian Stock Exchange.

SEE Link is supported by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) by way of a grant to establish an electronic system for order-routing. Hannes Takacs, Head of ECM and CMI Development at EBRD is pleased with the signing of the MoU and said, “Intensified efforts are needed to drive regional cooperation, consolidation and to harmonize the capital markets in the region. Inroads in some of these matters have been made by EBRD, such as supporting the implementation of SEE Link as a cross-border trading link. Linking regional exchanges in the form of order-routing is an initial step for the regional integration of securities markets. Additionally, improving market accessibility and efficiency is essential to enhance the investor base. We see the initiative set by the SEE Link member exchanges and RBI as an important step to improve cross-border post-trade services and for enhanced regional cooperation”.

About RBI
RBI is a leading securities services provider in Central and Eastern Europe. It covers 19 markets in that respect and has € 220 billion in client portfolios in its custody. RBI acts both as global custodian for institutional investors based in CEE and as sub-custodian for foreign intermediaries active in CEE.

RBI regards Austria, where it is a leading corporate and investment bank, as well as CEE as its home market. 14 markets of the region are covered by subsidiary banks. Additionally, the RBI Group comprises numerous other financial service providers, for instance in leasing, asset management or M&A.

In total, around 50,000 employees service 16.6 million customers through more than 2,400 business outlets, the majority thereof in CEE. RBI's shares are listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange. The Austrian Regional Raiffeisen Banks own around 58.8 per cent of the shares, the remainder is in free float. Within the Austrian Raiffeisen Banking Group, RBI is the central institute of the Regional Raiffeisen Banks and other affiliated credit institutions and renders important services in this function.

About SEE Link
SEE Link is a project started by Bulgarian, Macedonian and Zagreb stock exchanges with the objective of creating a regional infrastructure for trading of securities listed on those markets. The idea behind this cross-border initiative is to integrate regional equities markets without merger or corporate integration, using only technology that will enable participating stock exchanges to remain independent while complementing each other and to allow investors an easier and more efficient approach to those markets through a local broker.