Euroclear to settle Russian corporate and municipal bonds from Jan. 30

MOSCOW Wed Jan 22, 2014 5:40am EST

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MOSCOW Jan 22 (Reuters) - International settlement bank Euroclear will begin settling Russian corporate and municipal bonds from Jan. 30, it said on Wednesday in a joint statement with Russia's National Settlement Depository.

Euroclear, based in Brussels, is the largest provider of securities settlement services. It began settling Russian domestic government bonds a year ago, easing access to the market for many foreign investors, as part of government-backed reforms aimed at liberalising Russian financial markets and boosting liquidity.

Foreigners now hold around 25 percent in the $110 billion OFZ domestic government bond market, up from just 4 percent two years ago.

The latest agreement with Euroclear means similar settlement procedures will also be used for the $150 billion corporate rouble bond market and the $15 billion municipal bond market, improving foreign investors' access.

Euroclear said in its statement that a similar service for Russian equities is due for launch in the second half of 2014. (Reporting By Jason Bush; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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