GERMANY - Assets under custody at Clearstream reached €9.9 trillion in February - a 9% increase from February 2006.

Deutsche Börse's settlement and custody services provider reported the greatest increase in securities held in its international business, which grew 12% from €4.1 trillion to €4.6 trillion over the year. Within the domestic business, securities increased 7% from €5 trillion to €5.4 trillion.

Spokesman Bruno Rossignol said the Eurobond market had been "very active" in 2006, and "as long as the bond market is active, we're happy".

The number of international transactions grew 4% in February to 2.38m over 2.28m in February 2006. Of these, 74% were over-the-counter (OTC) transactions and the balance were stock market transactions.

However, Clearstream processed slightly fewer domestic transactions tin February than in the same month the previous year. These stood at 3.41 million, compared with 3.43m million for the same month in 2006. Of these, 66% were stock exchange and 34% OTC transactions.

Meanwhile, Clearstream's parent Deutsche Börse announced that chief financial officer (CFO) Mathias Hlubek and operations director Matthias Ganz are to leave the executive board.  Their contracts had "been revoked amicably and in mutual agreement", according to a press statement.

The stock exchange has not yet appointed their successors. Until it does, CEO Reto Francioni will take over Hlubek's responsibilities. Ganz's will be divided among the remaining board members.

No-one at Deutsche Börse was available for comment.