Sberbank CIB, Sberbank’s corporate and investment banking business, and National Settlement Depository (NSD), Russia’s central securities depository, announce the intention to test an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) technology at the Bank of Russia’s regulatory platform. Level One, a company that manages Moscow’s biggest commercial lecture hall, will be the issuer.
The regulatory platform of the Bank of Russia was launched in April 2018 to pilot and implement new financial services and technologies requiring legislative changes. The Bank of Russia and other governmental organizations, profile associations, and development institutions assess services and technologies implemented at the platform.
Participants plan to conduct the first transaction involving tokenized assets by the end of summer 2018. National Settlement Depository, Russia’s financial market infrastructure, will record tokens and carry out settlements related to their issue and circulation. Sberbank CIB will act as the issuance coordinator and anchor investor in tokens issued by Level One, and NSD will be the transaction’s custodian. NSD will keep and register digital assets.
Work on the pilot project at the regulatory platform will allow Sberbank CIB and NSD to assess the specifics of these transactions, mitigate associated risks, and get feedback from the Bank of Russia related to improving mechanisms to conduct transactions. In the future, the experience of Sberbank CIB as a leader in Russia’s investment business will make Russian ICOs more transparent for traditional investors, guaranteeing the high quality of the organization conducting these types of trades.
Sberbank CIB and NSD will be able to scale this experience to attract financing by issuing tokens to a wide circle of their clients once two bills (“On Digital Financial Assets” and “On Attracting Investments via Investment Platforms”) are adopted.
Igor Bulantsev, Senior Vice President of Sberbank, Head of Sberbank CIB, pointed out: “Sberbank CIB considers the Russian ICO market to be very promising. Many Sberbank clients are interested in this type of investment, and we plan to promote this service proactively once the appropriate legislative framework comes into effect; we will be one of the drivers to institutionalize and popularize this type of transaction.”
Eddie Astanin, Chairman of the Executive Board, NSD, said: “National Settlement Depository uses a pragmatic approach with regard to FinTech. Our end goal is to create the fundamental basis for the development of the digital economy in our country, for the emergence of a new type of asset for investors, for ICO ecosystems, and for the circulation of digital assets on the secondary market. In conjunction with market leaders, we are implementing a project to create infrastructure to record digital assets. The existence of this infrastructure is a crucial condition based on which institutional investors come to our market, the market develops rapidly, and its capitalization grows.”
Sberbank is Russia’s largest bank and a leading global financial institution. Sberbank holds almost one third of aggregate Russian banking sector assets, it is the key lender to the national economy and the biggest deposit taker in Russia. The Central Bank of the Russian Federation is the founder and principal shareholder of Sberbank owning 50% of the Bank's authorized capital plus one voting share, with the remaining 50% held by domestic and international investors. Sberbank has more than 145 million customers in 21 countries. Sberbank has the largest distribution network in Russia with almost 15,000 branches, and its international operations include UK, US, CIS, Central and Eastern Europe, India, China, Turkey and other countries.
Sberbank CIB is the corporate and investment banking business of Sberbank. Its key areas of activity are corporate finance (including trade finance), the documentary business, investment banking services, trade operations with securities, and private equity. Sberbank CIB provides integrated financial solutions and investment advisory services to its clients, which include major corporations, financial institutions, sovereign states and federal and sub-federal government bodies and organizations.
National Settlement Depository (NSD), a part of the Moscow Exchange Group, is the central securities depository* of the Russian Federation.
NSD was founded 27 June 1996. On 31 March 2018, the value of securities under custody amounted to RUB 41.7 trillion. The Bank of Russia recognized NSD as a systemically important central securities depository, settlement depository, and repository. The NSD payment system has the status of a systemically and nationally important system.
NSD offers a wide range of services to its clients, including settlement and depository services, OTC transaction registration (repository services), information services, collateral management services, and technological services.
As Russia's national numbering agency and the substitute numbering agency for the CIS, NSD is authorized to assign international ISIN, CFI and FISN codes. NSD has the status of a Local Operating Unit (LOU), which allows it to assign Legal Entity Identifiers (LEIs) to corporate clients.
The Bank of Russia has assigned NSD the status of an operator of the NSD Payment System (registered name).
NSD settles on-exchange trades and conducts a major part of OTC settlements; it services Russian and foreign securities as the central securities depository. Currently, NSD has accounts with central securities depositories and international central securities depositories of eight countries, as well as correspondent accounts with major foreign and Russian banks. NSD services securities issued by companies representing more than 40 countries. The international rating agency Thomas Murray has assigned NSD an AA- rating as a central securities depository.
For additional information about NSD please visit www.nsd.ru/en.
* The central securities depository status was assigned to NSD by the Russian Federal Financial Markets Services’ Order ¹12-2761/PZ-I (dated 6 November 2012). NSD holds professional securities market participant license ¹045-12042-000100 for depository operations issued by the Russian Federal Financial Markets Services (19 February 2009), license ¹3294 for banking operations issued by the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (4 August 2016), license ¹045-00004-000010 for clearing activities issued by the Russian Federal Financial Markets Services (20 December 2012), and license ¹045-01 for repository operations issued by the Bank of Russia (28 December 2016).
The Level One Educational Project (www.levelvan.ru) is Moscow’s largest commercial lecture hall. It has been operating on the educational market since 2015. Level One’s core product is lectures which allow visitors to understand different aspects of culture and science – from arts and astronomy to memory training and style practice. The project’s lecturers are experts in these spheres, and they have great speaking skills. Project visitors have left dozens and hundreds of reviews for most Level One programs.
Level One operates in the retail segment, conducting more than 100 lectures per month at various sites, and also in the B2B segment, providing their corporate clients from both the private and governmental sectors with tailor made products.
Currently, Level One is working on expanding its online educational platform to help users develop their skills in different culture spheres remotely; this will also expand the project’s geography. Level One plans to provide services online in the form of interactive educational tasks which, for example, will help its clients gain better knowledge of architecture styles, distinguish one artist’s painting style from another, or understand when the masterpiece was created.
Head of Media Relations, NSD
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