Clearstream to Facilitate Access to Israeli Securities

  • Settlement link to Israel to be launched on 23 May 2011
  • Clearstream’s global reach now includes 52 domestic markets

Luxembourg/Frankfurt - May 23, 2011 – Clearstream, the global liquidity provider within Deutsche Börse Group, will allow international investors to easily access Israeli securities through a new settlement link, to be launched on 23 May 2011. The international central securities depository (ICSD) will offer settlement and custody services for all asset classes denominated in Israeli Shekel, i.e. equities, corporate bonds, government bonds, treasury bills and warrants. The domestic settlement link will allow Clearstream customers to develop post-trade solutions for the Israeli market, with Clearstream as their single point of access. Citibank N.A. Tel Aviv is Clearstream’s direct agent in Israel.

Mark Gem, Member of the Executive Board and Head of Network Management at Clearstream, said: "We con-tinue to expand our global reach by adding Israel to our settlement network. Clearstream is the place where is-suers and investors meet to settle their transactions, for funding and investing respectively. The settlement link to Israel will help bringing these parties together. We will continue to facilitate market access and openness."

Ralph Shaaya, Citi Israel CEO, said: "After an extensive due diligence process, we are proud to have been se-lected as the custody bank to support Clearstream’s entry into the Israeli market, and look forward to working with Clearstream to facilitate and increase foreign activity in Israel."

David Levy, Citi Israel Securities Country Manager, added: "As the only foreign bank in Israel offering these services for international clients, we are in a unique position to leverage our global network and experience to benefit our clients and the market."

Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI), the provider of investment decision report tools, effective May 2010 reclassified Israel from emerging market to developed market status, thus increasing the attractiveness of Israeli securities for international investors. On 24 April 2011, the central bank of Israel increased its 2011 economic forecast for the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth from originally 3.8 percent to 4.5 percent.

Clearstream provides a single point of access to multiple asset classes in multiple markets. The company is moving ever closer to the markets it serves providing local, regional as well as global solutions. Clearstream has the largest ICSD settlement network covering 52 domestic markets across the world with the inclusion of Israel. This network also includes all Eurozone countries and links to the major BRIC economies, namely Brazil, Russia, China, where Clearstream processes the only currency eligible for settlement, the Chinese Renminbi held outside mainland China. Talks are already under way on access to the Indian market to complete Clearstream’s BRIC coverage.

International Central Securities Depositories (ICSDs) like Clearstream were set up in the 1970s to provide set-tlement and custody services for Eurobonds. In recent years they have established settlement links to dozens of local markets and settlements of trades in domestic securities - primarily European government bonds - account today for a significant portion of the ICSD revenues. Settlement links allow ICSD participants to settle trades with other participants in the same ICSD, with participants in the other ICSDs, or with local market participants. Clearstream has evolved from being a pure Eurobond house to holding equity, funds, structured products and commodities.

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About Clearstream
As an international central securities depository (ICSD) headquartered in Luxembourg, Clearstream provides the post-trade infrastructure for the Eurobond market and services for securities from 52 domestic markets worldwide. Clearstream’s customers comprise approximately 2,500 financial institutions in more than 110 coun-tries. Its services include the issuance, settlement and custody of securities, as well as investment fund services and global securities financing. With more than €11 trillion in assets under custody, Clearstream is one of the world’s largest settlement and custody firms for domestic and international securities. As a central securities depository (CSD) based in Frankfurt, Clearstream also provides the post-trade infrastructure for the German securities industry, offering access to a growing number of markets in Europe.

Further information: www.clearstream.com

About Citi
Citi, the leading global financial services company, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Through Citicorp and Citi Holdings, Citi provides con-sumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, in-cluding consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction ser-vices, and wealth management. Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com.

Certain statements in this document are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act. These statements are based on management’s current expectations and are subject to uncertainty and changes in circumstances. Actual results may differ materially from those included in these statements due to a variety of factors. More information about these factors is contained in Citigroup's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.