SIX Group, the Swiss financial market infrastructure operator, has acquired Norway's Oslo Clearing, as central counterparties (CCPs) across Europe undergo expansions ahead of regulatory changes.
SIX has agreed to acquire 100% of Oslo Clearing from Norwegian exchange Oslo Børs, for 180 million Norwegian krone, or US$32 million, and incorporate the business into its SIX Securities Services post-trade division.
The Swiss firm will consolidate Oslo Clearing’s volumes and clients to a single platform and aims to reduce trading costs and offer increased flexibility.
The transaction will close in Q2 2014 and integration work will begin then. Oslo Clearing added equity clearing to its platform in 2010 and cleared than 46 million equity transactions worth in excess of NOK 960 billion (US$171 billion) in 2011. The CCP also clears derivatives and securities lending transactions.
Thomas Zeeb, CEO, securities services at SIX, said the expansion would lead to opportunities for future product extensions and diversification for post-trade services.
“The acquisition of Oslo Clearing is complementary to our existing businesses and provides a further expansion of choice, both for existing SIX clients as well as Oslo Clearing clients, who will benefit from single-interface assess to additional market as well as greater efficiencies and economies of scale,” Zeeb said.
The purchase comes as the Europe’s clearing environment undergoes significant change. New rules part of the European market infrastructure regulation (EMIR) will force over-the-counter trades through clearing houses and the MiFID II regulation, which is still being finalised in Brussels, may push for greater interoperability between venues and CCPs.
Last Friday, a deal for London Stock Exchange (LSE) to buy European clearer LCH.Clearnet received regulatory approval from the UK’s Office of Fair Trading and another domestic regulator, the Financial Services Authority, is due to approve the deal on Friday.
The deal values LCH.Clearnet at €813 million, but stricter capital requirements for European CCPs under EMIR will force the LSE to inject more money into the business, which may force alter the terms of the deal.