Fact Book 2021. Summary of the year.

In areas of health, economics and finance, 2021 has been a year of recovery after the hit humanity took in 2020 as a result of the global pandemic caused by COVID-19. Both economic and financial activity has rebounded substantially in 2021 thanks in particular to the massive vaccination campaigns carried out by the vast majority of the world’s countries, but also thanks to the enormous monetary and fiscal stimulus measures implemented by the central banks and governments and to the recovery in confidence among households and companies.

Although the most harmful effects of the crisis have been adequately overcome, its scars and repercussions have started to emerge in the form of inflation flare- ups centred primarily in raw materials and energy; higher debt, especially public debt; supply chain imbalances due to reduced global mobility; more insecurity among some social groups, especially those impacted by the pandemic, etc.

Based on the IMF’s projections from October, the global economy will grow 5.9% in 2021 and 4.9% in 2022 after falling 4.4% the previous year. The recovery has been particularly intense in the developed economies, with the United States and Europe at the head of the pack, while the emerging economies have experienced less growth than anticipated. However, the uncertainty over the projections has increased over the last quarter due to new outbreaks of the pandemic and its effects on the economy.

The Eurozone has experienced a magnificent recovery, which gained momentum in the second half of the year, when vaccination rates in the big countries started to comfortably exceed 50% of the target population and this led to eased restrictions and greater business and consumer confidence. The IMF estimates growth of 6% in 2021 and 4.3% in 2022, which was even an improvement on its previous projections.

At over 80%, Spain has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, and it is one of region’s top countries in terms of recovery with the FMI expecting its growth to be 5.7% in 2021 and 6.4% in 2022, driven by the recovery in spending and confidence, greater investment from the NextGenerationEU funds and the highly expansionary fiscal policies included in the budget for 2021 as well as the draft budget for 2022. However, the recovery has been less magnificent than expected in recent quarters, and the GDP growth estimates for 2021 were cut to below 5%, with the growth estimate for 2022 left as is.

The central banks of the major countries and economic regions have kept their expansionary policies virtually intact up until the final weeks of the year. Both the Fed and the ECB are keeping their interest rates at respective levels of 0–0.25% and 0%. In terms of unconventional measures, the Fed has continued its monthly asset purchases in the amount of USD 120 billion, which it started to gradually reduce in November, while the ECB has maintained a pace of purchases of around EUR 100 billion per month. In November, the Fed started to gradually taper its asset purchases at a pace of 15 billion per month and the ECB slowed its purchase programme slightly.

Governments – especially those of the developed economies – have continued to introduce fiscal policy measures to strengthen the recovery. These notably include investment programmes in the US and the approval and introduction of the European Union Recovery and Resilience Facility this year, called NextGenerationEU, through which EUR 750 billion will be mobilised, financed through the issuance of community debt.

The large increase in public debt and the sharp rise in inflation are among the main uncertainties emerging after the health and economic crisis. Debt reached record levels both in the developed and the emerging economies, with the former easily exceeding 100% of GDP and the latter already approaching these levels, after the jump in 2020 and 2021. In turn, inflation has become another major headache for the recovery, with the developed economies experiencing interannual price increases of 4–7%, which has not been seen for decades, and with much uncertainty regarding their persistence and duration as well as their impact on the policies implemented by the central banks.

INTERNATIONAL INDICES AND STOCK MARKETS

Just as they did during the final months of the previous year, the global stock exchanges rose as a reflection of the global economic recovery that has generally given rise to better results for listed companies. The main global indices have cumulative gains of 16–21% in 2021, with much less volatility than the previous year.

The European stock exchanges have reported widespread gains, driven by the strong recovery experienced by the major economies, the fiscal stimulus programmes to overcome the COVID-19 crisis and the expansionary monetary policy kept in place by the ECB. The index that includes the major securities listed in the monetary union – the EuroSTOXX 50 – rose 21% in 2021, and was even exceeded by the STOXXX Europe 600 – a broad benchmark for the entire continent – with an increase of 22.3%, which shows that the favourable performance of the stock exchanges has not been limited to the group with the largest listed securities. The EuroSTOXX 50 was outperformed by the indices for Austria (+38.9%), France (+28.9%), the Netherlands (+27.8%) andNorway (+24.4%) Yields slightly below the index were reported by the indices of countries including Switzerland (+20.3%), Belgium (+19.0%), Germany (+15.8%), the United Kingdom (+14.3%) and Portugal (+13.7%), and Spain’s Ibex 35 trailed with a yield of 7.9%.

The US markets reported another year of double-digit gains with new all-time records. The strong recovery of the economy and the large fiscal stimulus programmes trounced fears of inflation and the Fed starting to taper its bond purchases. The country’s main indices had yields in line with or above the global average: the Dow Jones rose 18.7%, the S&P 500 was up 26.9% and the Nasdaq 100 Technology Sector Index rose 26.6% and is headed for its twelfth consecutive year of gains. Another developed market – Japan’s Nikkei index – had slight total gains of 4.9%, which was lower than the global indices. Conversely, the year has not been favourable for the emerging markets as a whole, with a 4.6% decline in the global MSCI EM index, and with Latin America falling around 13.1% as a particular consequence of a slower vaccination rate, which has impacted its main economies. Similarly, the emerging stock markets in Asia have been unable to build on their previous great year and are reporting collective losses of 6.6% due to the impact of the new waves of the pandemic on their economies.

INVESTMENT IN SPANISH SHARES: CAPITALISATION, TRADING, LIQUIDITY AND DIVIDENDS

The Spanish stock exchange had a more positive year in 2021. All the most indicative indexes in the IBEX family experienced percentages of growth ranging from 1.77% in IBEX Small Cap to 14.94% in the IBEX Top Dividendo. The most representative index – the IBEX 35® – rose 7.93% year-on-year. The positive effect of the recovery in shareholder remuneration was significant this year, and the index of securities with the highest dividend yields – the IBEX Top Dividend – rose 14.94%. In turn, the IBEX 35® with Dividends – which reinvests dividends in the same index – was an additional return of nearly 3 points relative to the main index, reaching 10.78%.

Based on the size of the companies included in the index, the largest increase in the IBEX family was reported by the IBEX Growth Market All Share, with an annual increase of 10.55%. In turn, the FTSE4Good IBEX rose 10.18%.

Of note among the largest sectors in the Spanish market was the performance of listed banks, whose sector index was up nearly 21% in 2021, while prices in the electricity and gas subsector fell a collective 4.16% as a result of regulatory uncertainty that rattled the Spanish electric market during the year.

The collective market capitalisation or value of the companies listed on the Spanish stock exchange was back above a trillion euros (EUR 1.08 trillion as of the end of the year), which represents 14.19% growth, and it was primarily driven by the rise in prices but also by the new additions to the market. In terms of sectors, the largest increase in capitalisation was experienced by technology and telecommunications at 21.3% (up EUR 15.5 billion) and financial services thanks to the banks, with an annual increase of 18.3% (up 24.8 billion).

The increase in capitalisation has occurred in parallel to an inverse movement in the total number of companies listed on the different markets and platforms, which went from 2,738 on 31 December 2020 to 2,585 at the end of 2021. This decline was largely due to the flight of SICAVs that started back in 2015 when a total of 3,373 were listed, to the current number of 2,284 now that 163 SICAVs disappeared this year. The largest growth in relative terms was in BME Growth, which has 127 companies and a market capitalisation of EUR 19.060 billion – nearly 19% more than the previous year and more the double the amount 4 years ago.

Trading for listed stock in 2021 was EUR 378.435 billion at the end of the year and a total of 45.1 million market trades. These figures reported declines, both in the cash traded (-11.9%) and in the number of brokered trades (-19%), as compared to their values in 2020. Smaller-sized companies performed better than the global aggregate, with IBEX Small Cap companies trading 3.4% more over the year, and shares in BME Growth companies did even better, rising 22.5%.

The Spanish Stock Market remains the benchmark for execution and liquidity in trading Spanish securities and for the conduct by which the companies complete their corporate operations and meet their financing needs in the form of capital.

The transparency and legal security framework offered by a regulated market is decisive when channelling investment operations. BME’s market share in the trading of Spanish securities remained above 70% throughout the year and reached 70.4% while reporting the best execution metrics compared to alternative trading platforms in buy-sell spreads, order book depth and the best execution price available, thus confirming it is a benchmark for trading and liquidity for its listed securities.

Historically, the dividends of Spanish listed companies are of great importance. For years the Spanish market has consistently been a leader among the developed stock exchanges in terms of dividend yield, one of the market’s attractions for international investors, who own practically 50% of the value of listed Spanish shares, 16% more than 13 years ago. The recovery of financial activity has also ceased to be noted under the shareholder remuneration heading. Spanish listed companies with a longer tradition of generous remuneration policies have sought formulas to maintain them as much as possible or to return to their philosophy after the deviations caused by the circumstances of 2020.

The overall shareholder remuneration of the Spanish stock exchange in 2021 rose 9.4% as compared to the previous year. EUR 20.475 billion had been distributed through the four formulas most commonly used by listed companies in order to share retained profits with their shareholders: cash dividends, scrip dividends, reimbursement of share premiums and capital decreases with a refund of contributions.

Scrip dividends declined in 2021. Shares valued at 4,716 were distributed, which is equivalent to 24.5% of the total dividends distributed.

Another formula for shareholder remuneration that has grown this year is share buybacks followed by redemption. This modality, which has a long history in the United States, is seeing a great deal of growth in Europe. In Spain, EUR 3.581 billion in shares had been redeemed at the end of the year, which corresponded to the redemption of 391 million securities from 17 listed companies.. The announced and executed share buybacks anticipate significant volumes of redemptions in 2022.

CAPITAL INVESTMENT: INVESTORS, SHARE CAPITAL INCREASES, SECONDARY OFFERINGS AND IPOS.

The investor base of the Spanish Stock Market remained extensive and diversified, with international investors making up the most important group with a record high 49.9% stake in the overall capital of the listed companies and with individual or household investors owning 17.1%, according to the data at the close of 2020. The Spanish Stock Market has traditionally occupied a relevant position in the international arena in terms of financing companies in the form of capital.

New capital investment and IPOs have been strengths of the Spanish securities market in 2021. Capital increases registered their best year since 2016. As of December, 97 transactions had been recorded, raising funds in the amount of EUR 21 billion as compared to EUR 15.791 billion in 2020. This was a 33% increase, and the companies raised funds largely used for new programmes to expand their business and to conduct merger and acquisition operations with other companies.

Examples of the increases carried out in order to make acquisitions are Colonial and Cellnex, which carried out the year’s largest capital increase at EUR 7 billion. In turn, Caixabank and Unicaja used this mechanism for their respective mergers with Bankia and Liberbank by swapping shares issued in capital increases.

Regarding IPOs, 19 new companies had joined the BME platforms as a whole, 3 of which did so in the stock exchange (Acciona Energía, Ecoener and Línea Directa) and the rest on BME Growth. Collectively, they raised EUR 2.933 billion, which surpasses the three previous years with less than EUR 1 billion placed.

In terms comparable to other stock exchanges and based on the metrics used by the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE), new investment flows and equity financing channelled through the BME platforms in 2021 totalled slightly more than USD 32.140 billion as valued on their admission price and converted using the average euro/dollar exchange rate each month between January and December. This figure is nearly twice that of 2020, and it places BME among the major securities markets in the world under this heading for yet another year, where it consistently ranks among the top 15 in the world.

SUSTAINABLE INVESTMENT THROUGH SPANISH EQUITIES

The pandemic accelerated a trend that had already been gaining momentum in previous years: the need to incorporate the concept of sustainability into all decisions on the investment and production chains.

All the political, social and economic authorities involved in the transition to a more sustainable economy acknowledge the essential role that the financial and capital markets should play in the process. The securities markets also have an important role to play in this contest, and the Spanish stock exchange decided years ago to support this idea of promoting a future of sustainable companies and investments as an essential part of shaping the future.

Since 2008, the stock market managed by BME has provided investors with the FTSE4Good IBEX® index in collaboration with renowned global financial index manager FTSE Group. This index is a powerful tool that allows investors to identify and invest in companies that meet global standards for corporate responsibility.

One reflection of the rising commitment of listed companies to sustainable investment is the fact that since it was created in 2008, the FTSE4Good IBEX® index has increased the number of components from the initial 27 companies to 46 in 2021, with stronger growth in the most recent years.

The IBEX GENDER EQUALITY index was also launched by BME in late November, and it was designed to measure the stock market performance of companies with exposure to gender equality in Spain that are listed on the Spanish stock exchange. The index selects listed companies whose Board of Directors is comprised of 25–75% women and having 15–85% women in their senior management. The index does not have a set number of components and will instead add companies during its annual revisions as they meet the established minimum thresholds. This index has appreciated 5.9% in 2021, which is comparable to the gains of the IBEX 35® index. The IBEX GENDER EQUALITY index currently comprises 31 companies.

BME GROWTH AND PRE-MARKET ENVIRONMENT

BME’s market aimed at small and medium-sized companies, which was created in 2006 as a Multilateral Trading Facility (MTF), was renamed BME Growth on 3 September 2020 after the recognition of the European Growth Market category by the CNMV and is known as the SME Growth Market in Spain.

This new category is developed within the framework of the Capital Markets Union (CMU) included in MiFID II with the aim of promoting the financing of smaller companies through their presence in financial markets and standardising quality and transparency among the growth markets in Europe. Regulation is also simplified to adapt it to this type of company.

16 companies joined BME Growth over the course of 2021. Collectively, the market closed 2021 with 127 companies (8 more than a year ago) and a market capitalisation or value of EUR 19.060 billion – nearly 19.1% more than the previous year and more than double the amount 4 years ago.

Funding raised by BME Growth companies through increases rose 124% over the year, at a total amount of EUR 960 million. The amount raised by companies listed in the growth companies segment was reported at its highest levels since this market was created in 2009 – with 48 increases in the amount of EUR 441 million, which represents an annual increase of 232%. In turn, the REIT segment recorded EUR 519 million in 32operations and rose 75% over 2020.

The sectoral composition of the growth companies traded in BME Growth as a whole provides a snapshot of what the path of transformation could be for the economic backbone of Spain and the world as well. The technology, biotechnology/health, engineering, telecommunications and renewable sectors are the largest.

Of particular note again this year is the growing role played by the BME Pre- Market Environment (PME) in bringing companies and investors into the financing and investment ecosystem represented by the securities markets. To this end, the participating companies in any kind of sector have the support of partners specialising in different strategic areas to provide them with the training needed to achieve a level of competence that allows them to make the jump to the financial markets.

In 2021, the PME gained another 9 new companies and 5 new partners intervening in the portfolio of services offered to companies. With the companies that joined in 2021, this makes 30 that have now taken part or are taking part in the assistance offered by the 20 PME partners for their own development. Of them, 3 have made the jump to the market – specifically to BME Growth. The last one was Club de Fútbol Intercity, which debuted in October and became the first football team listed in Spain.

CORPORATE OPERATIONS: TAKEOVER BIDS AND OTHER M&AS

In line with what occurred in the rest of the world after the slowdown experienced during a good part of the previous year, the Spanish market for the control of companies and M&A accelerated over the course of 2021, primarily in the following sectors: financial, pharmaceutical, renewable energy, technology, telecommunications and real estate.

Major operations took place over the course of the year that were concentrated in the Spanish banking system. First, Caixabank and Bankia concluded the merger they had announced back in 2020. This operation made the new entity the new national market leader based on number of customers and assets, and it allows the Spanish government to recover part of the investment it made in Bankia through the FROB. Second, the merger between Unicaja and Liberbank was also completed, and it resulted in Spain’s fifth largest bank by asset volume.

Takeover bids have also picked back up in the market after the scarce activity recorded in 2020. Four of these operations were carried out, of which two were total (100% of the capital), one was partial and one was an exclusion takeover bid. Of note among the takeover bid operations was the partial takeover bid extended by Australian pension fund IFM for 22.7% of the capital of Naturgy Energy Group, which concluded with IFM’s acquisition of 10.83% of the energy company’s capital, which represented a transaction value of EUR 2.318 billion. Another major takeover bid was one carried out for 100% of the capital of Euskatel by Kaixo Telecom, a company in MásMóvil Group.

FIXED INCOME: FINANCING AND INVESTMENT

Spain’s public and corporate debt markets have returned to playing an important role in 2021, and maintained their capacity to finance both the public administrations and companies with very large volumes of funds and under highly favourable interest rate conditions and maturities, while still having the support of the expansionary monetary policies of the European Central Bank.

Both the Spanish market and the world’s main public and corporate debt markets have been reflecting the impact that these opposing factors have had over the course of the year, which has resulted in significantly lower volatility levels than in previous years. On the one hand, the central banks maintained asset acquisition measures for most of the year; on the other, there was the reactivation of the economy and the fears stemming from high inflation levels of an unknown duration.

In Europe, Germany’s 10-year Bund continued to retain its status as a safe haven asset during the year, with negative yields throughout the year, but approaching positive yields at some points. In turn, the Spanish 10-year bond started the year at 0.02%, rose to a high of 0.62% in May in the midst of the fifth COVID-19 wave, and then moderated again to levels of 0.40% and finished the year rebounding 0.56%. The risk premium of Spanish bonds, which during the worst moments of the health and economic crisis has even exceeded 150 basis points (1.5%), remained within a range of 55–75 basis points (0.55 and 0.75%).

The volume of Spanish public debt issued and admitted to trading on BME’s fixed income regulated market in 2021 was EUR 266.252 billion, or 3% less than in the same period of the previous year. This slowed the fast pace of issuance in the public sector throughout the previous year (+36%) in response to the effects of COVID-19, bringing Spanish public debt up to 120% of GDP at the end of 2020, having risen 24 percentage points.

Despite the volume of issues remaining high, the average cost of new public issues in the year has fallen to -0.04%, below the 0.18% average for the entire previous year. The average cost of all outstanding public debt has also fallen to 1.65%, below the 1.88% average of the previous year.

Over the the year, public debt traded on the SENAF platform reserved for specialised market makers rose 42%, to EUR 184.017 billion, and the number of back-to-back operations rose 12.5% to more than 26,000. The total volume of public debt traded on BME platforms in 2021 was EUR 233.651 billion.

The total outstanding balance of Spanish public debt in the fixed income regulated market stood at EUR 1.24 trillion at the end of 2021 – a 6% increase compared to the previous year. The balance of foreign public debt on the same date fell by 2.1%, to EUR 4.6 trillion.

In turn, the admission of foreign public debt in the BME fixed income market rose to more than EUR 786.751 billion in 2021, or 5.8 % more than in the previous year.

Corporate debt has experienced a year characterised by low yields and less volatility – quite far from the fluctuations of the previous year. The volume of Spanish private debt issued and admitted to trading on the regulated market in 2021 was EUR 113.124 billion, a decrease of 5.2% over the previous year.

Unlike what occurred the previous year, companies seized on favourable market conditions to issue longer maturities in 2021, and the increase in medium- to long- term debt issues stands out, having risen 84.7% to 37.603 billion.

ALTERNATIVE FIXED INCOME: MARF

BME’s alternative fixed income market (MARF) was designed as a result of the financial and sovereign debt crisis, and it was launched in late 2013 as a multilateral trading facility to facilitate fixed income issues by companies of various sizes, many of which had no presence in the capital markets before issuing in this market. Since its inception until the close of 2021, 117 companies have already used it to raise funds since it was launched – 6 of them from Portugal, and another 4 from the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Germany and Canada. After growing steadily during its 7 years of life, this market plays a big role among the alternatives in the move to diversify corporate funding sources in Spain.

The volume of issues and admissions added to MARF in 2021 was EUR 13.850 billion, which represents a 44% increase over the previous year.

As of the end of December, the outstanding balance of issues was EUR 9.645 billion, which is 82% more than in the previous year, with balanced outstanding bond issues in the amount of EUR 5.64 billion distributed among 61 issues and EUR 4.002 billion in 386 tranches issued within the promissory note programmes in place. As of December, 23 companies turned to the MARF market for the first time to meet their financing need by issuing fixed income, thus marking 117 issuers in MARF since it was created.

One noteworthy milestone of the year was in April, when MARF broke the symbolic figure of 100 issuers since it was created in late 2013. A paper conducted at the University of Seville, titled “MARF and its contribution to business growth”, provides a reckoning of the first years of this BME market and these 100 first issuers. Collectively, they have a total turnover of EUR 78 billion with figures similar to 2019, provide 380,000 jobs and generate EUR 21 billion in profits. Of the issuers in MARF, 65% are unlisted companies, 4% are listed in BME Growth and the remaining 31% are listed in the main market of the Spanish stock exchange.

GREEN, SOCIAL AND SUSTAINABLE BONDS

Sustainable financing has seen a major boom around the globe in 2021, particularly in terms of the issuance of green bonds, social bonds, sustainable bonds and sustainability-linked bonds. For the first time ever, these issues could reach a global volume of USD 1 trillion in 2021, nearly doubling the figures from the previous year.

One noteworthy milestone of the year is the higher volume of 15-year green bonds issued by the European Union in October as part of the Recovery and Resilience Facility in the amount of EUR 15 billion.

Over EUR 15 billion in green, social and sustainable bonds were issued in Spain in the first half of 2021 according to data from AFME and the Spanish Observatory of Sustainable Financing (OFISO), which is 70% more than the same period of the previous year and is greater than total amount issued in 2020. The country thus maintains its position among the top 10 benchmark markets at the global level in green bonds, social bonds, sustainable bonds and sustainability-linked bonds issued by national entities.

In the fixed income markets and platforms managed by BME, 31 green, social and sustainable fixed income issues were admitted to trading for a total amount of EUR 12.79 billion. BME had 63 outstanding issues of this kind at the end of the third quarter.

In the MARF fixed income market adapted to the needs of medium-sized enterprises, social and sustainable green bonds have also gained momentum. In 2021, the market had 10 pending issues after the addition of energy companies like Greenalia, Valfortec, Audax Renovables and Biodiesel de Aragón as well as industrial companies like Pikolin and Elecnor.

FINANCIAL AND NON-FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES: FUTURES AND OPTIONS

The Spanish derivatives market (MEFF) is still betting on diversification in 2021 with consolidation in the derivatives for electricity and the new currency futures market xRolling FX®.

The collective options and futures on underlying equities saw their trade volume decline 18% in 2021 to 33.2 million contracts in a context marked by less volatility in the spot market. As such, implied volatility in 2021 has decreased nearly 9 points to a daily average of 17.4%, according to the VIBEX® volatility index, compared to 26% for the whole of 2020.

Of note over the year was the recovery in the contracts traded for stock futures, which were up 3.4% at 11.3 million, as well as the open interest, which rose 33%. Trading also rose in contracts for hedging dividend payments on individual shares in the Spanish market, driven by the recovery in dividend payments by listed banks after being authorised by the ECB. Trading in stock dividend futures contracts was up three-fold in 2021.

In turn, the electricity derivatives traded on MEFF were impacted by the increased prices and sharp rise in volatility that has characterised Spain’s electricity market in 2021 as result of the improvement in the health situation with the associated economic recovery, and by the tensions and price increases in the global markets for raw materials, particularly for natural gas. Since the Spanish spot market is marginal, the price of gas has impacted electricity prices not only in the spot market, but also in the futures market with impacts on liquidity. In futures contracts, which allow for a forward cover of the participating operators, the trade volumes have remained slightly below the previous year’s levels, at 26.6 million MWhin 2021, while open interest rose 15% to 9.4 million MWh.

The xRolling FX® currency contract market is concluding its second complete year of activity under the strategy of the Spanish MEFF derivatives market to highlight its experience as a market regulated and supervised by the CNMV, with a proven trading system and decades of experience and the certainty provided by a central counterparty.

Currency derivatives are products that can be readily and directly used as investment, especially as an instrument for hedging currency risks for companies that import and export as well as for financial investments carried out in non-euro currencies. The cash volume traded – comprised of the 27,207 contracts traded  in the market – exceeded EUR 277 million in 2021, an increase of 29% over the previous year. September set a new monthly record for the number of contracts exchanged, at 3,681, and the number of active clients also rose to a monthly average of 80.

CLEARING

BME Clearing is the Spanish stock exchange’s central counterparty, offering clearing services in five segments: equity and currency financial derivatives, trades in securities listed on the stock exchange, European sovereign debt repos, electricity and natural gas derivative instruments and interest rate derivatives.

In the Financial Derivatives area in 2021 there were a total of 8,737 transactions and 26,766 contracts, compared to 4,934 transactions and 21,793 contracts in the previous year, an increase of 77% and 23%, respectively.

SETTLEMENT

Settlement and registration activity reported figures in line with previous years. In 2021, the number of instructions from stock exchange operations settled in Iberclear fell 8.7%, with a monthly average of 0.6 million operations, while the daily average of cash settled was 6.036 billion, or 0.31% more.

Activities in this area have been defined by the draft regulations. In May of this year, the preliminary draft of the Spanish Securities Markets and Investment Services Law and of three royal decrees being developed was submitted for public consultation by the Ministry of Economic Affairs in order to transpose different European directives and to undertake important reforms to improve the competitiveness of the Spanish securities markets. As part of this reform, CNMV asked Iberclear to create and head a technical group with the involvement of the major sector entities in Spain to assess the operational impacts from the new legislation in the context of post trade in Spain.

REGIS-TR

REGIS-TR maintains its leadership position among the largest trade repositories in Europe, with more than 2,000 European clients in 37 countries. In 2021, it processed over 3.2 billion operations and continues to gain importance in the market, with a broad and compelling range of services.

An agreement was signed in September 2021, under which Iberclear would acquire a 50% share in REGIS-TR from Clearstream (Deutsche Boerse) to thus become the sole shareholder and incorporate REGIS-TR’s business into SIX. The transaction is expected to conclude in the first quarter of 2022.

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