Clearstream, a unit of Detusche B÷rse, has further stamped its presence in Asia by opening new representative offices in Singapore and Tokyo to better service its growing number of clients in the region. The move comes at a time when the firm is looking to take further advantage of rising volumes in international securities settlements throughout the region, driven largely by Asian central banksÆ need to invest mushrooming foreign reserves.

Both offices will report directly into ClearstreamÆs Hong Kong office, which has been open since 1992. Philippe Metoudi, head of the Asia business, says the organisation now has eight offices worldwide, including Frankfurt, London, New York and Dubai, as well as its headquarters in Luxembourg.

The international clearinghouse will serve approximately 100 clients based in Singapore. Of this client base, central banks, commercial banks and broker dealers will now have more direct access to ClearstreamÆs capabilities which includes the clearing and settling of trades, assuming custody of securities and serving as a counterparty guarantor for the settlement of all securities trades.

The move was prompted by SingaporeÆs growing attraction for European private banks to use it as a booking centre and a hub for regional wealth-management activities. Executives in the industry speculate Clearstream may use Singapore as a base to service Southeast AsiaÆs local bond markets, in local currencies, but Metoudi would not comment on this.

The opening this week of the Tokyo office follows on a groundbreaking move in November 2006, when Clearstream because the first international central securities depositary (ICSD) to offer settlement of interest-bearing Japanese government bonds outside Japan. The JGB market is the worldÆs largest sovereign bond market, with an estimated $7 trillion of outstanding issuance.