CEDEL Bank has edged out rival clearing house Euroclear in the battle to win the right to advise China's Ministry of Finance on setting up a central securities depository. Industry sources said Cedel was appointed as technical adviser after a proposal it submitted with Nasdaq International Markets found favour with the Government. Cedel and its partners in the project hosted a delegation of Chinese finance officials, who also examined depositories in the United States and in Europe, including those in Luxembourg and Germany. The officials initially planned to look at the Central Moneymarkets Unit operated by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, but did not have time to do so. Cedel would design risk management systems, regulatory guidelines and market principles, market surveillance and organisation of the depository, the sources said. In the second stage of the project it will work on implementing the design and setting up a depository. Cedel's regional head Philippe Metoudi could not be reached for comment and no one in Cedel's Hong Kong office was available for comment. The sources said Cedel had been pushing hard to win the mandate for China, seen as a potentially massive market if domestic savings could be mobilised. The Government's intention was to set up a world-class depository to attract foreign funds and to encourage domestic savers to put their money into mainland instruments, they said. Cedel's core business is providing clearing, settlement and custody services for internationally traded securities to professional institutions worldwide. Last year it settled US$7 trillion worth of securities, or $30 billion every business day, for about 2,900 customers. It and Euroclear accept such instruments as bonds, money market instruments, short-term and medium-term notes, equities and warrants. In China, the project with the Ministry of Finance initially will focus on treasury bond instruments. Cedel has been increasing its links with the Asian region. In December, Hong Kong became the first Southeast Asian market to link up with the giant European clearing house. The China project will give Cedel access to the potentially vast mainland market and will allow Chinese savers access to a depository operated by Cedel, which is owned by 99 financial institutions. Cedel has a network of 69 depositories in 23 countries.