JSE Clear has introduced a new service to accept securities as collateral against open JSE derivative positions. Previously, only cash was accepted as collateral. By now accepting SA government bonds as collateral, investors are able to utilize their cash for different purposes, alleviating cash liquidity pressures and reducing their costs of cash funding.
This service offering marks a proactive approach by JSE Clear to support investors who wish to improve efficiency. Investors with listed JSE derivative exposures may now meet their margin collateral requirements by providing a combination of ZAR cash and liquid South African fixed-rate government bonds. Initially JSE Clear will accept government bonds to cover 35% of margin collateral. This amounts to billions of rands in cash released back to investors who can use the cash for entering into more trading activity, or to address other needs. Lowering the cash requirement for collateral also materially lowers the risk of cash liquidity constraints which generally arise in times of market stress.
"Our ability to accept securities as collateral gives our investors an extra tool to more flexibly manage their cash flows and availability. Investors are now able to substitute expensive and scarce cash with bonds, which are sometimes considered to be ‘lazy assets’. We are delighted to be able to provide investors with this meaningful benefit while still being able maintain appropriate levels of collateral for JSE Clear’s risk management purposes," said Alicia Greenwood, Chief Executive Officer of JSE Clear.
JSE Clear will hold securities as collateral by adopting the 'pledge' mechanism which means that the investor retains ownership of the securities, and entitlement to related coupon payments, at all times. The assets will be ring-fenced and separated from the other assets of JSE Clear, thereby optimizing protection of the investors’ assets.
Initially, the securities collateral service will be available to cover 35% of total collateral requirements in the Equity and Currency Derivatives markets. JSE Clear intends to increase this percentage in the future, to consider a wider range of eligible securities, and to roll out the service to the Commodity and Interest Rate Derivatives markets.
“This development contributes positively to the financial efficiency of our investors, and to the lowering of SA’s systemic market risk, especially under stressed conditions. We envision this initiative offering our clients more flexibility, fostering greater market resilience, and contributing to stronger and more vibrant capital markets," concludes Greenwood.
JSE Clear is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). JSE Clear is the only licensed CCP and Independent Clearing House operating in South Africa, with the licence having been granted by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), in agreement with the Prudential Authority (PA) and the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) in September 2022.
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