Beneath the headlines of sizeable foreign capital outflows, soaring numbers of Covid-19 infections, and lockdowns, asset servicing providers in South Asia, the Middle East and Africa have been doing their utmost to ensure business continuity.
The new normal has forced them to go digital and do away with physical cheques, legal documents and wet signatures. Central securities depositories, custodian banks, clearing and settlement systems, and securities exchanges have been left with no choice but to adapt, invest, and upgrade their operation systems and processes.
One of the most notable changes in the industry, apart from e-proxy solutions and digital annual general meetings (AGMs), is the digitalization of foreign investors’ accounts. A number of regulators in these regions have been working closely with custodian banks and clearing firms to align local work processes with international best practices.
Addressing this age-old issue not only improves the straight-through processing (STP) rate but also helps elevate a market’s profile and prepare it for possible inclusion in widely followed market indices in the future.
Traditionally the industry has been conservative when it comes to shifting service alliances, but there have been a few changes in partnerships among service providers over the past year, with some multi-market RFPs being awarded and some alliances getting stronger. This has resulted in an increasingly competitive market with players fiercely defending and aggressively grabbing market share from each other.
It is in this context that we announce the winners of the Best in Asset Servicing Awards 2021 for South Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.
In addition to submissions and pitch meetings, The Asset board of editors also engaged with clients of the participants, securing valuable feedback in the form of client calls and our in-house Asset Servicing Survey.
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For a full list of winners, please click here.