The Vienna Stock Exchange has played down rumours that it is in discussions with the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE) about a possible merger.
A spokeswoman for the exchange said scheduled talks between Michael Buhl, CEO of Vienna bourse parent CEE Stock Exchange Group (CEESEG), and Warsaw Stock Exchange CEO Adam Maciejewski were part of an ongoing dialogue with industry participants.
"This is the normal course of business, and there is nothing relevant to report," she said.
Despite reported appetite for a merger from Erste Bank, the Vienna exchange's largest shareholder, both sides appeared to hold out the possibility of some form of cooperation agreement short of consolidation. The WSE's deputy CEO told a London audience earlier this week the exchange was "ready to cooperate" with its Viennese counterpart. The Vienna spokeswoman likewise pointed to its willingness to cooperate with other exchanges "in various areas of the business".
Vienna has pointed to regional and international recognition – only 38 of its 96 trading members are domestic – as one of its advantages over a "very secluded" Polish bourse recently dominated by capital from domestic institutional investors. It also claims higher issuing volumes and a bond market comprising 3,584 compared with Warsaw's 377.
Asked about the broader regional impact of the mooted merger, a spokesman for recently consolidated exchange MICEX pointed out that no deal had yet been announced. The Moscow exchange has a policy of not commenting on its competitors.
The WSE will next week reduce trading times by 30 minutes for its cash market when it migrates to a new trading system, NYSE Technology's Universal Trading Platform.