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Consolidation poses questions

Societe Generale, one of the longest standing western investors in the region, has built its business through a series of purchases of local banks including such names as Splitska Banka, Komercni Banka, BRD, SKB and Rosbank in Russia, the Bank’s largest-ever acquisition.


“That investment on its own illustrates the breadth, depth and strength of our commitment,” says Andrew Duffin. Through the purchase of Rosbank SGSS has a seat on the board of the new Russian Stock Exchange, a prime example of the way in which the Bank has gained positions of some importance in a number of countries. Recent securities services business transfers between major industry players are the latest instalment in the long-running consolidation trend of the securities services industry in Russia and Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and pose intriguing questions.


“The planned transactions help to underline the challenges and opportunities that present themselves to investors and their service providers,” says Andrew Duffin, Head of Sales, Emerging Markets, at SGSS. “Will investors find assets that are an appropriate match for their risk-return profiles? Will they be able to find an international financial institution with the scale, size and network coverage required to look after those assets and maximise the benefits to be derived from owning them? Does that institution have a strategic commitment to the provision of securities services? Will that institution remain committed to the business?”

"Will investors be able to find an international financial institution with the scale, size and network coverage required?"

“The efficient and effective delivery of such services in the modern world demands geographical reach, extensive infrastructure, in-depth legal and regulatory knowledge, audit and permanent supervision capabilities,” he continues.  It also requires connections to central banks, payment systems and disaster recovery arrangements in diverse locations. “The ability to lobby effectively at the highest political and economic levels, as we do across the region, is also increasingly essential for banks working in their clients' best interests.”

andrew.duffin@sgss.socgen.com



Keyfacts

  • Securities services continue to consolidate in CEE
  • Challenges and opportunities for investors
  • Investment demonstrates SGSS commitment to CEE


SGSS in Central and Eastern Europe

• Warsaw, Poland
• Bucharest, Romania
• Moscow, Russia
• Belgrade, Serbia
• Ljubljana, Slovenia
• Prague, Czech Republic
• Split & Zagreb, Croatia

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