Poland’s national central securities depository – KDPW – is now letting participants offer omnibus accounts to allow greater access for global investors to the country’s equity markets.
Depository participants can now operate omnibus accounts in their own name and allow them to be used by multiple clients. The move is an attempt to increase the inflows of foreign capital into the Central European market from investors who would otherwise find it difficult to access Polish opportunities.
For foreign investors, previous ways to access Polish markets required a foreign investor to hold a separate account opened especially for the Polish market, and the depository has admitted this was an expensive and complex hurdle.
“As long as omnibus accounts were not available, there was a mounting barrier to further growth of the Polish capital market, which over the past years has moved from the position of a local market to that of a regional financial hub,” said KDPW CEO Iwona Sroka. “Despite the financial crisis which has prevailed for many months, the Polish capital market continues to grow and attract foreign investors, whose turnover has increased significantly.”
Omnibus accounts are now a third registration tool through which to access the securities depository, together with depository accounts operated at the national depository level and securities accounts operated by KDPW participants. The new accounts differ from securities accounts in that they do not record in the account the holding of any rights attached to securities. Omnibus accounts also differ from depository accounts in that they are not linked to securities accounts.
Sroka said KDPW may also decide to offer omnibus accounts operated by the national depository itself.
Omnibus accounts are used in many countries including France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland and the US.