Citigroup Global Markets Limited (Citigroup) has announced that it has formally joined Spain’s main trading bourse, the Bolsas y Mercados Españoles (BME), as a trading member. The US-based banking giant joins amid difficult times for the European economy that suffered one of its most difficult economic periods in the modern era when unemployment topped 27%. The stock market on the other hand has been faring well as investors look for opportunities in desperate times.
Citigroup becomes the first international player to give Spain’s main exchange enhanced liquidity after new regulatory reforms meant participants can provide trade execution as a non-settling member, and thus use an Iberclear clearing member for settlement. According to the notification; “The new status, approved by finance ministers, means Citi will hold an agreement with an Iberclear participant which will be responsible for the registration, clearing and settlement of Citi’s trading activities. Iberclear is the Spanish central securities depository and subsidiary of BME.”
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Under the reforms firms will no longer need to handle registration, clearing and settlement obligations thus making membership more flexible and simple. Jorge Yzaguirre, Director of the BME Equities unit spoke about the new membership in a statement to the media: “The addition of Citigroup is great news for the Spanish stock market. New opportunities open up for many brokers and foreign firms that wanted to operate in Spain. This new figure will allow a quick and easy connection to the market that will have a positive impact on the volumes and liquidity of all the securities listed”.
The positive news come after BME announced strong operating metrics for the month of October, trading volumes were up 30%.