Euroclear and Latin Clear to open Panama to international investors

(PresseBox) ( Brussels and Panama City, )
Euroclear Bank and Central Latinoamericana de Valores S.A. (Latin Clear) - the Central Securities Depository (CSD) of Panama - will, in April 2014, launch an international link sponsored by Panama's Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) to enable global investors to participate in Panama's capital markets and strengthen the Republic of Panama's position as a key financial centre for Latin America.

MEF Viceminister of Finance, Darío A. Espinosa R., highlighted: "We are proud to say that Panama's economy has the highest rate of growth in Latin America. In order to continue to contribute to this stellar economic performance, and to consolidate our position as a regional financial services hub, we are very pleased to be part of this initiative, led by Euroclear and Latin Clear, which will allow Panama to access a broader base of foreign investors and diversify our funding sources. The international link with Euroclear will be a defining moment in the way Panama's issuers connect with domestic and international investors."

Stephan Pouyat, Global Head of International Markets for Euroclear, said: "This innovative Euroclear international link makes use of a single post-trade platform for both domestic and international investors, thus creating a single pool of liquidity. We are delighted to be able to offer a robust solution based on our technology and expertise to the Panamanian capital markets and we look forward to helping the Republic of Panama achieve its strategic objective of becoming a key financial centre for Latin America."

Iván Díaz G, Chief Executive Officer & General Manager of Latin Clear added: "Panama has a reputation for capital market innovation in Latin America and this international link is no exception. Much like our famed canal connects two oceans to spur on trade, this partnership with Euroclear connects our market to all parts of the globe. By utilising Euroclear's proven infrastructure, we will be able to offer our investors and issuers access to a broad range of international counterparties while simultaneously offering investors from across the globe easy access to Panamanian government debt initially. We subsequently plan to add corporate debt and equities as well. We believe that this international link can act as a springboard for Panama, increasing scalability and ensuring that our capital markets can seamlessly adapt to the levels of economic growth that our country has witnessed over the past decade. This new initiative represents an important milestone for the Panamanian securities market and for the region."

With the launch of the link with Latin Clear, Euroclear will have established links with CSDs in 46 countries across the globe.

About Latin Clear

Central Latinoamericana De Valores S.A. (LatinClear), a private for-profit company, is the Central Securities Depository (CSD) in Panama. It began operations in May 1997 as a Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO) and is also regulated by the Superintendencia del Mercado de Valores in the Republic of Panama.

Latin Clear as a CSD offers custody services for: corporate bonds, commercial paper, equities, government instruments (Treasury Certificates, Treasury Notes and Treasury Bonds), and other instruments such as quasi-govies and promissory notes. All of the securities held at the depository are immobilised or dematerialized. Securities settlements are executed on a rolling T+2 cycle executed on a trade-by-trade basis at Latin Clear. Latin Clear acts as a central hub for the region having established links with other CSDs in the region such as Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Venezuela. Other CSD links, such as the Dominican Republic and Colombia, are in an exploratory stage.In 2014 Latin Clear became a SWIFT member having complied with the ISO 15022 standards and Rule 17F-7 of the SEC.

Market penetration as a percentage of total capitalisation currently stands at about 58% and assets under custody have increased by an average of 33% per annum over the past four years.
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