Since 2007, the National Clearing Centre (NCC; part of Moscow Exchange Group) has acted as a Clearing House and Central Counterparty (CCP) for the Russian financial market. Its primary goal is to provide clearing services to market participants and to maintain stability across the Exchange’s markets by operating an advanced risk management system that meets the highest international standards. The NCC enjoys the status of a qualifying Central Counterparty and is recognized as a systemically important CCP by the Bank of Russia. The NCC is a member of the Global Association of Central Counterparties (CCP12) (Global Association of Central Counterparties, or CCP12) and the European Association of Central Counterparty Clearing Houses (EACH).
In 2020, Fitch Ratings affirmed the NCC’s ratings. The NCC’s long-term local currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) was affirmed at ВВВ with a Stable outlook, and the long-term foreign currency IDR was remained unchanged at ВВВ with a Stable outlook. The Analytical Credit Rating Agency (ACRA) affirmed the NCC’s national scale rating at AAA(RU) with a Stable outlook. According to the ACRA, the NCC’s credit rating and outlook are due to its strong and stable business profile, exceptional liquidity and capital adequacy position. The rating is additionally supported by the systemic importance status that the NCC enjoys in the Russian financial market.
Central Counterparty safeguard structure
The alignment of CCP safeguard structures across MOEX’s markets is designed to boost the reliability and viability of the Central Counterparty and ensuring that the NCC remains financially robust regardless of market conditions. The safeguard structure put in place meets the highest international CCP standards and the requirements of the Bank of Russia. As of the end of 2020, the CCP’s total dedicated capital was RUB 10.1 bln.
In July 2020, the models for determining settlement prices of futures contracts and calculating initial margin were supplemented with algorithms covering small positive and negative prices of futures.
In addition to the Black-Scholes theoretical option pricing model, the Bachelier model was implemented in September 2020, allowing options prices to be calculated when the underlying asset prices are negative.
Innovative development of the IT platform
The SWIFT GPI Financial Institution Transfer project for credit institutions was implemented, as part of which CSS CSS and Programbank.ABS were upgraded to connect these systems to GPI Tracker SWIFT. This increased the operational reliability of NCC in terms of interaction with international financial messaging systems and enabled the company to have up-to-date information on the process of about the customer payments.
A business process was built to implement MOEX’s own improvements to the Neoflex Reporting reporting system, which was adapted to the existing scheme of interaction with the developer.
The Standartised OTC Derivatives Market trading and clearing system was enhanced to finalise the model was finalised to support calibration of new indices and assessment of transaction metrics, which improved the accuracy of calculation of the risk collateral as well as to automate default management in terms of auctions to close out position, hedging and position rollover.
Reporting and audit
In 2020, NCC successfully passed an operational audit carried out by PwC, which covered such elements of NCC’s activities as CCP risk management, CCP model validation, stress testing of CCP risks, estimation of the CCP dedicated capital and recovery of its financial stability.
NATIONAL SETTLEMENT DEPOSITORY
Non-bank credit institution Joint Stock Company National Settlement Depository (NCO JSC NSD) is the central depository of the Russian Federation, that offers clients a wide range of services, including depository, repository, clearing services, settlement and cash services, information services, as well as collateral management and technological services.
Central securities depository
The volume of assets held on NSD accounts increased by 20.8% to RUB 63.6 trln in 2020. The total amount of issued securities (ISIN) being serviced by the NSD increased by 13.6% to 26.6 thousand. The number of international securities and Eurobonds of Russian Ministry of Finance increased by 17.4% to 18,200.
In 2020, NSD implemented several new projects to develop its depository services:
- in January, NSD launched the DVP-2 settlement service using correspondent accounts with the Bank of Russia. The DVP-2 model makes it possible to settle trades with cash obligations netted. The use of correspondent accounts with the Bank of Russia facilitates the settlement process for NSD’s clients, preserving the reliability of DVP settlements and providing more flexibility in money management. Thus, clients are now able to conduct DVP settlement in Central Bank Money in accordance with international best practices;
- in 2020, the first trade in commercial bonds executed via the Debt Market OTC System was settled. Previously, market participants completed on their own an instruction for DVP clearing with NSD; now, details for the instruction are transmitted automatically to NSD after the agreement is concluded in MOEX’s Debt Market OTC System. This scheme facilitates settlement in securities and allow reducing operational risks, improvidng settlement discipline and speeding up data exchange between trading and back-office units.
Corporate Actions Center
During 2020, issuers held 4,022 meetings of holders of their securities using E-voting. There were 412 corporate actions related to securities repurchases totaling RUB 102.2 bln, and 49 corporate actions related to exercising preferential rights.
In 2020, the number of corporate actions totaled 17,286, up 9.3% on 2019. There were 43,610 corporate actions related to foreign securities, up 36.3% on 2019, primarily driven by the NSD’s acceptance of newly issued securities. The corporate action categories where the largest increases were recorded were coupon payments and dividends on securities.
In 2020, 17 general meetings of shareholders were held using e-voting.
In 2020, volume of funds placed by the Federal Treasury via repo with collateral management by NSD increased by RUB 5 trln YoY to RUB 24 trln.
The collateral basket for repo with the Federal Treasury was expanded to include Russian Ministry of Finance Eurobonds.
NSD introduced the collateral management system for FX repo transactions made by global creditors. The volume of funds placed totalled USD 401 mln (RUB 30.66 bln).
In 2020, the Single Account service was further facilitated. Insurance and brokerage companies represent the main segment of the clients. Single Account features automated transfers between intraday and out-of-session positions for standing securities orders, which helps accelerate asset movements, reduce funding costs and reduce operational risks for Moscow Exchange Group clients.
In 2020, the number of transactions recorded in the NSD register increased by 66.6% to 25.3 million. FX instruments and repo agreements remain the key drivers in repository reports.
Jointly with Moscow Exchange, NSD launched a service to provide information from NSD’s repository through Moscow Exchange channels. The data contains information on OTC repo and derivatives transactions by type of agreement and type of underlying asset, as well as the category of counterparties that are parties to the transactions.
Settlement and payment system
In 2020, the number of OTC transactions settled using delivery versus payment (DVP) increased by 47.6% to 422.7 thousand. The volume of transactions increased by 60.6% year-on-year to RUB 15 trln.
The volume of cash transfers in Russian rubles and foreign currency increased by 8.1% year-on-year to RUB 328.1 trln. The volume of cash transfers in Russian rubles increased by 8.4% to RUB 287.7 trillion, and the volume of transfers in foreign currency grew by 5.6% to 40.4 million.
The number of transactions in 2020 totalled 1.54 million, up 25.5%. The number of transactions in Russian rubles increased from 0.82 million to 0.89 million, and the number of transactions in foreign currency increased from 0.40 million to 0.65 million.
NSD is one of Russia’s largest settlement non-banking credit institutions and a systemically and nationally important payment system in terms of the scale of its settlement operations, capitalisation and the number of financial market participants.
In 2020, the NSD successfully completed certification by the SWIFT Service Bureau as part of the Shared Infrastructure Programme (SIP). SIP compliance confirms the high level of security and reliability of operations via the NSD’s Service Bureau.
At the end of 2020, the total number of SWIFT service bureau participants was 66. The average monthly message traffic of SWIFT service bureau clients is 580,859 messages, up 37.8% on 2019.
Seven new corporate clients joined the Transit 2.0 platform during the year, bringing the total number at the end of the year to 33, of which 22 were corporations and 11 were banks. A new foreign exchange transfer and exchange control functionality was implemented on the platform.
Financial instruments identification
The NSD is the National Numbering Agency for Russia and the Substitute Numbering Agency for CIS countries, assigning ISIN, CFI and FSIN international codes to financial instruments. In 2020, the NSD assigned ISIN, CFI, and FSIN codes to 1,646 Russian financial instruments and 26 CIS financial instruments. In May 2020, the NSD successfully underwent annual re-accreditation to confirm its Local Operating Unit (LOU) status.
As a LOU, the NSD serves 30 jurisdictions including Russia and other CIS countries, as well as countries across Europe and elsewhere. Market participants in these countries can ask the NSD to assign and service LEI codes. The NSD continues to expand its list of serviced jurisdictions based on client requests. In 2020, the NSD assigned 52 LEI codes and verified 472 LEI codes.
The NSD’s activities as a Numbering Agency and LOU support the introduction of international codification standards on Russian and CIS markets, thereby increasing their transparency and integration into global market infrastructure, as well as facilitating and optimizing financial market operations.