SOURCE: Association of National Numbering Agencies (ANNA)

Association of National Numbering Agencies (ANNA)

April 22, 2014 08:30 ET

ANNA: Openness of Global Markets Advances With Securities Identifiers Now Issued for More Than 120 Nations

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM--(Marketwired - Apr 22, 2014) -  With the emergence this year of Qatar as the newest certified National Numbering Agency, members of the Association of National Numbering Agencies (ANNA) now provide unique standard identifiers for the securities of more than 120 countries. 

These international securities identification numbers (ISINs) and Classification of Financial Instruments (CFIs) are a common language describing stocks and bonds by their country of issue, issuer, and business terms. Because of the agreement among participating nations to use these identifiers, investors, researchers, financial firms and regulators can obtain both high-level understanding of international market activity and details about specific investments. International trading is simplified, and made more transparent and accurate.

"The spread of the ISIN and CFI standards across the world has been a remarkable achievement for an organization that is comprised of and managed by a volunteer group of highly placed professionals," notes Dan Kuhnel, chairman of the ANNA board of directors and director of primary markets and fixed income securities at Euroclear Hong Kong. "We continue to foster emerging National Numbering Agencies, and we look forward to more additions to the group in 2014."

Fostered by the Association of National Numbering Agencies (ANNA), new NNAs must meet strict technical business standards to achieve the "handover" of responsibility for managing the ISINs and CFIs in their countries. The development process and subsequent oversight of NNAs involves hands-on support and guidance from members of ANNA.

There are currently 115 NNAs. The ISINs and CFIs for additional countries are issued by Substitute National Number Agencies (SNAs), a group of larger NNAs which are distributed geographically to enable fully global coverage. The SNAs not only support the markets of their client nations, but also work closely with them to assure a smooth transition if they determine to establish an NNA of their own.

"Though the benefits to issuers and investors are very clear, the decision of exchanges, central banks and other organizations to become National Numbering Agencies is always founded on an impressive commitment. The development process is not simple or inexpensive, and the payback largely comes from deepened involvement in their national business and financial communities," says Uwe Meyer, member of the ANNA board of directors and Frankfort-based manager at WM Datenservice, one of the Substitute Numbering Agencies. "As a result, the membership of ANNA has a uniquely collaborative character that is evidenced in its ongoing progress, through work groups and task forces, in serving the end-users of ISINs and CFIs."

Currently, there are approximately 20 million each of ISINs and CFIs which are shared freely among the members, and consolidated into central files with the ANNA Service Bureau.

About ANNA
Established in 1992 by 22 founding numbering agencies, ANNA serves as the Registration Authority for ISIN and CFI numbering standards, under appointment by the International Standards Organization (ISO). The number of NNAs and the nations using the ISIN and CFI numbers to standardize identification of their locally issued securities has grown consistently year over year.

For more information about ANNA, its members and programs, please visit anna-web.org. 

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