Settlement process - Argentina
T+0, T+1 or T+2 as arranged with the counterparty once the trade is closed.
However, equities usually settle on T+2 basis.
T+0, T+1 or T+2
T+1 applies to certain short-term securities. The majority of debt securities are traded over-the-counter.
There is no pre-matching performed by the Stock Exchange or clearing house with the brokers. CBL custodian has established contractual pre-matching process by telephone and/or fax with local brokers provided that they receive settlement instructions before a specified cut-off time.
Once a transfer order has been input into the Electronic Transfer system of the CVSA, it generates a transfer of securities, which may be “immediate” or “deferred” depending on the transfer order details. Bilateral matching is required for immediate transfers in the Electronic Transfer system of the CVSA. It is not required for deferred transfers, it is market practice to return the securities the day following the receipt of the securities if the receiving custodian has no receipt instruction in place.
The broker inputs the transfer instruction in the Electronic Transfer system of the CVSA. The counterparty will input a receive instruction to match the broker’s delivery instruction. Once both instructions are matched, the transfer will settle in the CVSA overnight batch if it has been input as deferred transfer or will settle automatically (on a real-time basis) if it has been input as immediate transfer provided that the delivering party has enough securities in its account. All immediate transfers that have not been processed during the day are changed into deferred transfers and will be processed in the overnight batch of that day. Settlement is final upon transfer of securities at the Central Depository.
Exchange of cash
The Argentinean market does not use delivery versus payment principles. Caja de Valores transfers the securities free of payment, while cash is moved separately, generally through the electronic payment system (Metodo Electronico de Pagos – MEP) on settlement date.
The delivering party will either transfer the securities via the Electronic Transfer System or present the certified transfer form to the receiver's financial institution. The receiver's financial institution will issue a confirmation letter to the broker stating that the funds will be transferred to the specified account and will execute the payment through MEP. Funds transferred through MEP have same-day value and availability. The risk incurred between receipt of the certified transfer and the payment is assumed by the investor.
Partial settlement is not market practice in Argentina.
There is no central counterparty system in the CVSA.
Board lots exist, however equities are traded in Nominal Par Value (Valor Nominal Pesos = V$N). The minimum tradable amount of shares is the smallest denomination of the share provided that its nominal value is higher than one.
In terms of corporate actions and safekeeping, the minimum amount that may be received and/or held is the minimum denomination of the security.
According to Argentine law, issuers act as registrars but can also appoint a bank or depository to fulfil this obligation.
The company's registrar maintains an account on behalf of each holder, including the CVSA, which is represented as a single account holding collective custody of all depository sub-accounts. It is market practice to hold securities and settle transactions at the CVSA although this is not mandatory.
Dematerialised shares are automatically registered by the CVSA in the name of the sub-account upon credit of shares into the account.
Physical certificates are registered directly with the company's registrar. The process takes approximately seven days.
A Power of Attorney is required to perform the transfer.
The nominee concept does not exist in Argentina. No registration taxes or duties apply.
Most bonds (corporate and public) are held in book-entry form at the CVSA and are registered automatically during the settlement process as it is the case for equities.
They are only a few physical bonds in Argentina like some provincial bonds held in bearer form. Others may be registered under the investor's name. Physical securities are not eligible in Clearstream.
Stamp duty applies on all service agreements signed on or after 12 January 2009 in the City of Buenos Aires, as well as, on those agreements signed outside the City but that cover services rendered within the City. The stamp duty rate calculation is 1% of the estimated fees to be paid by the investor to the local custodian for the services rendered during the subsequent five years.
Penalties (buy-ins etc.)
There are no official buy-in practices but only informal market practices. In practice, Merval will require brokers to honour their commitment by borrowing the shares from Merval Securities Lending Program to ensure settlement.
According to the rules governing Merval Lending and Borrowing program, securities can be borrowed for up to five business days from trade date. It is understood that securities must be bought-back three days after settlement date. As per market practice, buy-ins are initiated by the broker on the third day after settlement date.
Interest claims for failed transactions are usually arranged between parties. There are no market-imposed penalties for fails. Failed trades may be cancelled under local practices. Fails are not common though. They are avoided thanks to reinforced pre-matching procedures.
Short-selling is allowed, provided that the broker borrows the shares from Merval on trade date (three days prior to settlement date). It is to be noted that the securities lending program at Merval is only available for brokers.