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Switzerland: Custody and settlement

A special report prepared by Union Bank of Switzerland.




Stable political, economic and social conditions, a strong Swiss franc and the efficiency and know-how of the Swiss institutions have made Switzerland a top-ranking financial centre. Swiss securities are included in any significant international investment portfolio and volumes from overseas investors continue to increase. Switzerland has the third-largest equity market in Europe with a market capitalization in 1995 of over Swfr458.6 billion and a turnover of approximately Swfr374 billion for domestic equities.

Over the past five years the Swiss market has undergone tremendous changes and its market participants can now take full advantage of one of the world's leading technically-advanced infrastructures. Today, the Swiss financial network electronically links SOFFEX (The Swiss Options and Financial Futures Exchange), EBS (Electronic Stock Exchange), SECOM (SEGA communication system), SIC (Swiss interbank clearing) and Telekurs (market information provider), thereby increasing the liquidity and transparency of the market and reducing settlement risk to a minimum. These developments could only be achieved through extraordinary cooperation between the leading Swiss financial institutions and the longsightedness of the federal and cantonal bodies.

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