Belgian authorities find it possible to unblock part of NSD’s assets
The Belgian Ministry of Finance considers it possible to unblock the assets of the National Settlement Depository
The Belgian authorities, where the Euroclear depository is registered, considered it possible to unblock the assets of the National Settlement Depository (NSD, part of the Mosbirzhi group) subject to a number of conditions, according to a message on the website of the country’s Ministry of Finance.
On 3 June, the EU put NSD on its sanctions list, then adopted amendments concerning the unblocking of funds deposited with NSD as part of package 8 of restrictive measures.
These amendments “enable operators to withdraw from NSD and apply only to the sale of positions held through frozen NSD accounts to terminate the relationship between the applicant and NSD”, the release explains.
“The General Directorate of Treasury has outlined conditions suitable for the sale of positions deposited with NSD and frozen in the accounts of the Belgian financial institution,” the release says.
These conditions include, among others, the verification of the applicant and its beneficial owners.
The last application for the transactions in question will be available on 7 January 2023.
“These conditions will apply in accordance with European law … provided that no other sanctioned person is involved (in this process – ed.),” the release said.
The European Union in early June put NSD on the sanctions lists within the framework of the sixth package of anti-Russian sanctions, Switzerland later joined the restrictive measures as well. As a result, in addition to securities and cash of Russian clients in various currencies, which had been immobilised in NSD’s accounts with Euroclear and Clearstream since March, cash in euros and francs in NSD’s accounts with foreign correspondent banks was also blocked.
Earlier, Russian brokers submitted requests to the competent authorities of Belgium and Luxembourg, where Euroclear and Clearstream are registered, to unblock clients’ foreign assets.
In September, NSD sent requests for general licences to the Belgian and Luxembourg finance ministries to unblock the assets of all unsanctioned investors.
According to the text of the Luxembourg license, the authorisation applies to transactions to complete transactions concluded before June 3, when EU sanctions were imposed on NSD. These transactions must be completed by 7 January 2023. NSD has confirmed that it has received a general licence from the Luxembourg Ministry of Finance to unblock assets.
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