Standard Chartered appointed as DIFX clearing bank



Standard Chartered, one of the leading international banks, has been appointed as the clearing bank of the Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX), the stock exchange located inside the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).
The DIFX plans to begin trading securities on September 26th, 2005, using the US dollar. It chose Standard Chartered in preference to rival bids from a number of other leading international banks.
Ray Ferguson, Chief Executive, Standard Chartered, United Arab Emirates, said: “This is a landmark deal for Standard Chartered. We will continue to partner the DIFX to meet its requirements for a successful launch of the exchange and its subsequent successful development.
“This appointment reinforces Standard Chartered’s reputation as a bank Leading the Way in helping to create a world class financial centre in Dubai. We believe the DIFX has the potential to become the leading stock exchange between Western Europe and East Asia.”
“We mobilised various departments across the Bank’s global network to form the best deal team possible, leveraging Standard Chartered’s global expertise in cash management,” added Ferguson.
As the DIFX’s clearing bank, Standard Chartered will process all cash receipts and payments for DIFX-appointed settlement banks under a tri-partite agreement between the DIFX, the clearing bank and each settlement bank.
Steffen Schubert, Chief Executive of the DIFX, said: “We selected Standard Chartered for its global expertise in cash management, and its vast experience in working within financial exchanges around the world. Standard Chartered will help us create settlement processes of the highest international standards, in which member banks of the DIFX can have complete confidence.”
Standard Chartered was one of the first banks to receive a commercial banking licence to operate inside the DIFC, when the DIFC opened for business in September 2004.
Nasser Alshaali, Chief Operating Officer of the DIFX, said: “The appointment of Standard Chartered as our clearing bank is a key step in the development of the DIFX as one of the world’s leading international financial exchanges. It is also another step forward for the DIFC as a location where leading banks are increasingly active.”
The bank has considerable experience of introducing new cash management services to the region, having launched liquidity management solutions in the UAE, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain.
Standard Chartered offers clearing bank services in India and China and a settlement bank for the Singapore Exchange. It was invited to become the only foreign bank for clearing and settlement by the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange in 1999.
The DIFX aims to become the main exchange in its region for equities, bonds, Islamic products, funds, index products and derivatives. The target areas of the DIFX for seeking issuers include the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states and the rest of the Middle East and North Africa, as well as South Africa, Turkey, Central Asia and the Indian sub-continent. As it progresses towards its launch, the DIFX is holding detailed discussions with potential DIFX Members and issuers.
It is applying to the independent regulator of financial services inside the DIFC, the Dubai Financial Services Authority, for licences to operate an exchange and Clearing house.
The DIFC, a free zone, opened for business in September 2004. Since then 60 banks and other companies have received permission to set up operations inside it.

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