The Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE) has set out its plans for further expansion, after becoming a shareholder of the Ukraine exchange, INNEX.
The WSE purchased a 25% stake in INNEX earlier this week, following the opening of a representative office in Kiev in June, and will pursue opportunities for cooperation between the two markets.
“We have good business experience in developing and creating markets from scratch,” Piotr Borowski, director of regional operations, WSE, told theTRADEnews.com. “The capital market started in Poland in 1991 and since then, we have been very successful in central Europe. We know how to transfer this experience to the Ukraine and we hope to take some bigger stakes in the future, but this is a subject for discussion with the shareholders.”
The total value of companies listed on the WSE currently stands at $0.46 trillion and the exchange has seen substantial growth in the last year, with the value of equity trading growing 42.7% in 2007 to $213 billion. The WSE also introduced NewConnect, in August last year, an alternative trading platform for mid-sized and smaller company stocks. Borowski said the exchange had ambitious plans for continued growth across central Europe. “We are already the biggest exchange from the post-Communist countries,” he said. “We want to strengthen this position and establish relationships with other exchanges in the region so that we can build an alliance network and compete with the biggest exchanges in the world.”
Borowski added that the WSE is keen to attract overseas institutional investors from Europe and the US, “to increase liquidity and capitalisation on the exchange”.
At the press briefing announcing the INNEX stake, WSE president Ludwik Sobolewski also discussed the progression of plans to privatise the exchange, subject to approval from the Polish Financial Supervision Authority and the president of Poland. The WSE hopes to begin listing its own stock in October, but parliament must first amend the Act on Public Offering and the Act on Trading in Financial Instruments.