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A key objective for G20 countries announced at their Pittsburgh Summit in 2009 was to reduce systemic risk in the global financial system by moving over-the-counter (‘OTC’), bespoke derivatives into central clearing houses. The bilateral risk is assessed and taken onto the books of the CCP for the entire life of those instruments. To achieve that level of risk management over the entire term of each contract, the OTC contracts had somehow to be standardised, which by definition is a contradiction with their specific, tailored nature and purpose. It was always going to be hard to square that circle; the CCP segment was not made for this purpose.

Of all the elements required to make a marketplace function, financial information is the most valuable. Since the dawn of time, an information advantage – and the time to make use of it ahead of others - has been the source of greatest gain to anyone who had it. Examples range from the return of special couriers who raced back to London after the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 to today’s high-speed algorithm trading shops paying additional fees to ‘co-locate’ their computer servers immediately next to those of the exchanges themselves. Having that edge is clearly critical, whatever the technology, or these presumably intelligent individuals would not strive so hard to get and keep it.

As a rule, post-trade operations take place somewhat behind-the-scenes, and they most certainly do not make the headlines on the evening news the way daily stock market index movements do. One of the most critical elements within them is securities lending and borrowing, which bolsters secondary securities market liquidity, enables tighter transaction spreads, enables disrupted settlement to go ahead, and generates relatively low-risk recurring fee income for asset owners and their custodians.

A discussion of findings following the recent on-site operational review of Zimbabwean, Zambian and Botswana securities market

A discussion of findings following the recent on-site operational review of the South African and Namibian securities market

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