New securities registry paves the way for first IPOs in Tirana

New securities registry paves the way for first IPOs in Tirana
By bne IntelliNews March 2, 2021

The Albanian Securities Registry (ALREG) has launched its operations after joining the Bank of Albania’s real-time gross settlement system (RTGS).

ALREG is now jointly licensed by the Bank of Albania as an operator of the securities settlement system and by the Albanian Financial Security Agency (AFSA) as a registrar, “thus fulfilling the legal requirements to be considered a central securities depository according to the provisions of the legislation in force”, the Bank of Albania said on March 1. 

“With the start of operation today, in the Albanian market ALREG will exercise the activity of securities register for all permitted securities and the activity of securities clearing and settlement as an operator of the securities settlement system in accordance with the legal and regulatory framework in validity and in accordance with the licences approved by the Financial Supervision Authority and the Bank of Albania,” the central bank said. 

The Bank of Albania also pointed out ALREG is the first private entity of its kind to be licensed and start operating in the Albanian market. “The completion and operation of all the necessary infrastructure for the processing of post-trading transactions marks an important step towards the further development of the capital markets and financial markets in general, thus giving an additional contribution to the promotion of further formalisation of the economy,” said the statement. 

The AFSA had previously licensed ALREG, in an important step for the market. “ALREG’s licensing was a necessary step to enable the trade of corporate securities in ALSE, because this process is impossible without a registry where securities ownership data are held (a central depository) and transactions are executed with them,” said the Albanian Securities Exchange (ALSE) CEO Artan Gjergji in an interview with bne IntelliNews published in 2019. 

“After having the additional licence from the central bank, ALREG will perform the whole process of clearing and settlement of corporate securities transactions, by providing to ALSE the path to trade shares and corporate bonds,” Gjergji said at the time, adding that the central bank licence for ALREG should pave the way for Albania’s first ever IPOs. 

Potential IPO candidates could come from the construction, broadcasting and financial sectors, while Prime Minister Edi Rama talked in 2018 of a possible listing by state energy utility OSHEE.