On September 6 the boards of Euroclear, the Brussels Stock Exchange (BXS) and the Amsterdam Stock Exchange (AEX) annouced the signing of a memorandum of understanding in relation to the proposed merger of the Belgian and Dutch central securities depositaries, CIK and Negicef respectively, into the Euroclear group.
The clearance and settlement services supporting the three exchanges forming EURONEXT – Paris Bourse, BXS and AEX (see IFLR, May 2000) –since September 22 will be consolidated to become part of the Euroclear group. The French central securities depositary, SICOVAM, had already announced its intention to merge with the Euroclear system.
The clearance and settlement functions of the three markets which constitute EURONEXT will be integrated into a single platform, forming a single entity in a single legal jurisdiction.
The merger agreement should be finalized in the first half of 2001 and the process will take place in two phases over a two-year period.
During the first phase of the merger, "delivery versus payment" links will be established between CIK, Negicef, and the Euroclear system in order to make possible the settlement of the corresponding EURONEXT trades, netted through Clearnet, in the Euroclear system, CIK and Negicef.
In the second phase, a integrated real-time settlement platform, which could be based on internet technology, will be created.