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Euroclear postpones possible sale decision

By Ramla Soni

The move is being closely watched by exchanges, private equity houses and banks

Euroclear has postponed a decision on a possible sale as shareholders disagree over the fate of one of the largest international central securities depositories (ICSD).

The mutually owned group, has been looking at options which would allow more of its shareholders to sell their stakes.

A sale or listing has been under consideration by the board.

The move is being closely watched by exchanges, private equity houses and banks amid a wave of consolidation among market infrastructure operators in Europe.

Euroclear’s review was prompted by shareholder complaints after several banks, including Royal Bank of Scotland and Credit Suisse, collectively sold 15 per cent of shares to Intercontinental Exchange and the London Stock Exchange Group.

These deals, over the past two years, have valued Euroclear at more than €5 billion.

In March Euroclear told shareholders it had appointed Goldman Sachs to advise on ways for shareholders to cash out.

In March, Lieve Mostrey, chief executive of Euroclear, forecasted that it would update shareholders in the second half of the year but it is now expected to make a decision in the first quarter of 2020.

Earlier this month, Euroclear Bank, the Brussels-based ICSD announced that it has obtained its Central Securities Depositories Regulation (CSDR) licence from its respective market regulator. Euroclear Bank is the sixth entity in the Euroclear group to receive its licence, and the first ICSD to do so.

The Euroclear group settled the equivalent of €791trn in securities transactions in 2018, representing 230 million domestic and cross-border transactions and held an average of €28.8trn in assets for clients.

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