Baltic exchanges stop cooperation with Norex

  • 2001-05-31
  • TBT staff
RIGA - The Riga and Vilnius stock exchanges have stopped negotiations on integration in the Nordic bourse alliance Norex.

Riga Stock Exchange President Guntars Kokorevics said that a trilateral agreement was reached on the move.

"It has proven difficult to reconcile the different needs of the larger existing Norex exchanges with the smaller emerging Baltic markets. We wish the exchanges of Lithuania and Riga the best of luck and hope that they will find suitable partners able to address their needs," said Sven Avild Andersen, Norex's chairman and president of the Oslo Stock Exchange.

"We have learned a lot from our two-year cooperation with Norex; however, the terms of a closer association proposed by the alliance would not benefit the market and our shareholders to the extent that we wish," said Rimantas Busila, president of the National Stock Exchange of Lithuania.

Kokorevics said that the refusal of further cooperation with Norex was decided on due to the high costs involved.

"The costs can be measured with six zeros in dollars," he said.

Kokorevics said the bourse council ordered the board to assess several possible cooperation versions, including cooperation with the HEX Group, owner of the Helsinki Stock Exchange, the Amsterdam-Brussels-Paris bourse alliance Euronext and the Frankfurt Deutsche Borse, which have shown interest in the Riga Stock Exchange. Negotiations are also scheduled with the London Stock Exchange.

Kokorevics said the Riga bourse has dropped the idea of either staying on its own or forming a new bourse alliance with other Eastern European bourses.

The HEX Group, owner of the Helsinki Stock Exchange, has been cited as one of the most realistic cooperation partners. The Tallinn bourse already has agreed to join HEX, which has announced a wish to cooperate with all three Baltic states.

The Riga bourse had been negotiating integration into Norex since 2000. Last May, a protocol of intent was signed to integrate the Baltic stock exchanges into the alliance, which was expected to happen during the second half of this year.

During the first four months of this year the aggregate turnover on all three Baltic stock exchanges amounted to 504.95 million euros ($435.30 million), 4.8 percent more than last year.

The Riga Stock Exchange reported the largest turnover with 274.86 million euros. The Vilnius Stock Exchange posted a turnover of 155.96 million euros, while Tallinn registered 74.13 million euros.

Riga reported the largest turnover in debt securities, while Tallinn reported the highest turnover on the stock market.

Debt security turnover in Riga amounted to 251.9 million euros, while Lithuania reported 113.42 million euros and Tallinn 2.05 million euros.

Stock turnover results for four months in Tallinn amounted to 72.08 million euros, in Lithuania 42.54 million euros and in Latvia 22.96 million euros.

The first four months of 2000 saw an aggregate Baltic turnover of 481.63 million euros.