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Armenia to lead CIS countries toward synchronization of central depositories

Vahan Stepanyan:

Armenia to lead CIS countries toward synchronization of central depositories

PanARMENIAN.Net - On October 6-8, 2011, Yerevan will host the 1st joint conference of the Association of Eurasian Central Securities Depositories (AECSD) and International Association of Exchanges of CIS Countries (IAEx of CIS) titled “Global Opportunities of Local Markets: Infrastructure and Management.” The organizers of the event, which will bring together representatives of the central depositories and exchanges from CIS countries as well as managers from Thomas Murray, SWIFT, Vnesheconombank, Euroclear, Clearstream, etc., are the Central Depositary of Armenia (CDA) and Nasdaq OMX Armenia. In an interview with PanARMENIAN.Net, CDA director Vahan Stepanyan commented on the issues to be in the focus of the conference and results expected.
Which is the idea of the conference?
“Global Opportunities of Local Markets: Infrastructure and Management” is a joint conference of the Association of Eurasian Central Securities Depositories (AECSD), which includes he Central Depositary of Armenia (CDA), and International Association of Exchanges of CIS Countries (IAEx of CIS). According to the regulations, the CDA assumed chairmanship in the AECSD in September 2010 and, consequently, Armenia is the host country for the resulting conference. CDA is a young structure formed in 204 and operating through working groups. The yearly activity, including fulfilling of obligations, examination of reports, participation in international meetings, etc., will be discussed during the conference, thus giving representatives of depositories and exchanges an opportunity to debate issues of mutual concern.

The conference is dedicated to global opportunities of local markets. Is there an essential infrastructure of access of foreign financial instruments for placement and circulation at local markets and vice versa? Would you present the technical aspect of trade at some exchanges for local markets?
The conference will actually focus on synchronization of market activity for the investors to have no problems at various markets. From this viewpoint, Nasdaq OMX possesses valuable experience. For example, three Baltic exchanges - in Tallinn, Vilnius and Riga - are viewed as a single regional platform. This is first of all the result of a technical, legislative and political decision. True, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, as members of the European Union, have common directives, political course and legislative field, what cannot be said about CIS member states.

Nevertheless, a great deal of work has been done. For instance, Armenia has a loro account in the central depository of Kazakhstan. Presently, talks are under way with Ukraine. As to Russia, the country's legislation doesn't provide for such a possibility yet. We have sent a letter to revise the legislation and received a positive answer, so that we are waiting for changes. The Russian market can be the locomotive of the regional trade.

Please, tell about international tendencies and compatibility of exchange and depositary activities.
Central depositories and exchanges are closely cooperating all over the world. Currently, the CDA and Nasdaq OMX Armenia are functioning as a single body, what allows to speed up decision-making and save time. Exchange-depositary connection is essential as inside the country as beyond it. This will be one of the topics to be discussed at the conference, possibly to result in intergovernmental agreements.

How will the issues of transboundary interaction between exchanges and depositories be settled?
As I have already said, to ensure coordinated activity of exchanges and depositories steps in three main directions are necessary: technical, legislative and political. The best solution applied in Europe is Target 2 Securities (T2S), which is developed for 2006-2015 and envisages formation of central depositaries of EU countries, the long period being conditioned by the common directives and legislative field in eurozone. The CDA ventured an IT-platform with Baltic states, specifically with Estonia, which is expected to be “a window to Europe” for Armenia and other CIS states which will follow the experience gained by our country. Simultaneously, our legislation is being improved, with amendments to the normative acts of the law On Securities to be introduced.

Which are your expectations from the conference? Do you think the participants will be able to find a common ground?
The CDA will brief on its experience and the course it chose. One of the most significant achievements is the servicing of pension accounts, which is a good prerequisite for development of the capital market. At the moment, a special program is being elaborated to be put into operation in 2014. I am hopeful that participants of the conference will succeed in finding a common ground and outline future steps. Beside the conference, annual meetings and roundtable discussions wills be organized.

Victoria Araratyan / PanARMENIAN News