Settlement process - Norway

06.10.2014

Foreign denominated securities in the Oslo Stock Exchange are settled against their stated currency (USD or EUR).

Settlement cycles

Norwegian short-term instruments:T+2
Equities and debt instruments traded on the Oslo Stock Exchange:T+2

Participants may agree a different settlement period.

Settlement flows

VPS ASA offers clearing and settlement free of and against payment for the Norwegian market in NOK, USD and EUR. Clearing is executed on a net basis once positions are calculated.

Settlement of transactions against payment is executed in Norwegian Krona via the Central Bank on a net basis.

VPS ASA runs two settlement batches for same-day settlement:

  • A first settlement batch running at approximately 06:00, with a deadline to enter trades of 20:00 last day of trade before settlement day;
  • A second settlement batch running at approximately 12:10, with a deadline to enter trades of 11:30.

Settlement is carried out according to a regular, rolling cycle and free of payment transactions, between investor accounts are entered into accounts in real time.

Settlement instructions can be entered on SD-1 for value SD until 20:00 SD-1.

Finality is achieved at the end of each settlement batch. Cash settlement takes place through the accounts at the Central Bank or via the appointed settlement bank. Free of payment transactions have an immediate finality.

Failed Transactions

Settlement transactions that remain unmatched on settlement day will be resubmitted for settlement in the next cycle for 20 consecutive days. After this period, VPS ASA will reject any instructions that remain unmatched.

Matched settlement transactions that are still pending settlement will remain in the VPS ASA system until cancelled by the participant according to the market rules.

If a counterparty has failed to deliver securities on the agreed settlement date, the party not causing the fail can unilaterally cancel a transaction that has not settled on the contractual settlement date provided that it directly informs the counterparty before instructing the cancellation.

The counterparty instruction will remain pending and unmatched in the VPS ASA system.

Although matching is not binding, when transactions are confirmed, VPS ASA blocks the securities in the seller's account and subsequently the trade can only be changed or cancelled if both parties instruct a reverse trade.

Registration

Equities

An act of the Norwegian Parliament related to the Norwegian Central Securities Depository, (VPS ASA), requires all securities listed on the Stock Exchange to be registered electronically in the Registry. The majority of the most frequently traded, unlisted securities are also registered in the VPS ASA system. All Norwegian shares are in registered form.

The Public Limited Companies Act requires shares to be registered in the name of the beneficial owner. By law, owner registers are required to be publicly available. Upon request, a company is obliged to produce a list of all the registered owners.

According to this Act, foreign investors can, unlike Norwegian nationals, have their listed shares registered in the name of a trustee or nominee.

However, there are several conditions attached to such nominee registration, as follows:

  • The nominee must be licensed as such by the Banking, Insurance and Securities Commission of Norway.
  • Voting rights are "frozen" until the shares are registered in the name of the beneficial owner.
  • The nominee will further be required to list the names of the beneficial owners upon request from the company or from governmental authorities.

The title and registration data of a securities account will be reflected similarly in the owner registers. Transfer of ownership is automatically updated in connection with the transfer of shares in the VPS ASA system.

Debt Instruments

Although Norwegian bonds are registered on the owner's account in the VPS ASA system, bond issuers are not generally aware of the identity of the bondholders. Transfer of ownership is achieved in the same way as for shares.

Stamp duty

Stamp duty is not applicable in the Norwegian market.

Penalties

Buy-in Rules

VPS ASA does not impose fees or penalties, although, according to the Norwegian Securities Dealers Association, if delivery has failed at the time of the original settlement, the buying member has the right to initiate buy-in (after a buy-in notice has been issued). However, such buy-in is not common market practice.