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Clearstream and Euroclear further upgrade the daytime ‘Bridge’

Euroclear Bank and Clearstream Banking Luxembourg jointly announce today a further round of improvements to the automated daytime ‘Bridge’ between the two International Central Securities Depositories (ICSDs). The upgrade follows the successful completion of daytime Bridge improvements introduced in March 2007.

This second phase of enhancements will be launched on 14 July 2008. It will significantly improve Bridge interoperability by raising settlement efficiency even further for the ICSDs’ respective clients and providing greater opportunities for same-day transaction settlement and securities financing across the Bridge.

Specifically, this second wave of improvements to the daytime Bridge will:

• increase settlement opportunities, particularly for trades settling on T+0, with the addition of five new file exchanges of settlement-related information (from 10 to 15 times per day);

• provide more timely and frequent transaction-repair and fail-management information to clients as a result of ten new exchanges of transaction matching files (from 20 to 30 times per day); and

• further extend instruction deadlines, with the mandatory deadline moving to 13h00 CET from 12h30, the optional Delivery versus Payment deadline moving to 15h00 CET from 14h40 and introducing an additional Free of Payment optional deadline at 16h00 CET.

Clearstream Banking Luxembourg and Euroclear Bank are jointly committed to make continuous improvements to the Bridge in order to support international capital market professionals by providing fast, efficient, reliable and safe settlement between the ICSDs. The ICSDs meet regularly to define and deliver further enhancements to the Bridge, in line with market needs for greater same-day financing and transaction-management possibilities across the Bridge.

Yves Poullet, Chief Executive Officer, Euroclear Bank, commented: "Often cited as the best example of interoperability between CSDs, the Bridge has become a symbol of efficiency, collaboration and client focus. We look forward to sharing with clients the benefits of the latest Bridge enhancements, and other forms of access and interoperability under the Code of Conduct."

Jeffrey Tessler, Chief Executive Officer, Clearstream, said: "The settlement opportunities made possible by the Bridge give customers full access to any counterparty with an ICSD account throughout the settlement day. The real choice of settlement location that this creates for the market is what makes the Bridge the pre-eminent example of interoperability on the global stage."