One of the biggest clearing services providers in the world, the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), just issued an announcement about its intentions to buy a majority stake in Holland Clearing House (HCH) – an Amsterdam-based derivatives clearing house which is the primary clearing house for the TOM multilateral trading facility (MTF).
The TOM MTF offers trading in shares, derivatives and ETFs to banks, brokers and market makers, packaging access to high-speed trading in the most liquid shares.
HCH is regulated by the Netherlands Authority of the Financial Markets (NAFM) and the Dutch Central Bank, giving ICE the opportunity to expand its presence in continental Europe clearing services.
Dutch bank, ABN Amro Clearing will retain a minority interest in the venture, while the investment has not been classified by ICE as material enough to disclose the costs associated with it.
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The transaction is still subject to due-diligence and the regulatory approval from Dutch authorities with ICE expecting to be closed in Q4 of 2014.
The firm is currently running five clearing houses, with ICE Clear Singapore preparing to launch in the coming months. Its European presence is already established with London-based ICE Clear Europe, but HCH is the first “continental” acquisition which the company is making.
The President of ICE Clear Europe, Paul Swann, commented in the company announcement, “We are pleased to work with ABN Amro Clearing Bank, as well as with TOM and HCH, to further develop our European clearing businesses.”
The CEO of HCH, Joost Beckers, stated, “We are excited to welcome ICE as a new shareholder, and together with ICE we will continue to service TOM and our clearing participants competitively. The support of ICE will add to HCH’s strengths, and through robust and efficient services, HCH is well positioned for growth.”