Bourse shareholders sign HEX agreement

  • 2002-07-04
  • Baltic News Service, RIGA
Fifteen Riga Stock Exchange shareholders signed a sales agreement June 28 with HEX Group, owner of the Helsinki Stock Exchange, that paves the way for HEX to become owner of 92.98 percent of the Riga bourse, the RSE said.

The stock exchange's structure will become similar to that already in place in Finland and Estonia and will become part of HEX's Baltic operations.

Five shareholders of the Riga bourse who are also shareholders of the Latvian Central Depository of Securities, or LCDS, have also signed the share purchase agreement to sell their LCDS shares to the Riga Stock çxchange, giving it 81.08 percent of LCDS shares.

The remaining 18.92 percent are held by the Latvian Privatiza-tion Agency, which said it intended to sell them later this year.

The Stock Exchange has received the required regulatory approval from the Latvian Financial and Capital Market Commission.

The closing of the transactions is expected to take place in July. Further information about the transaction will be published after its completion.

HEX and the Riga bourse this March announced the beginning of a strategic cooperation between HEX, the Riga stock exchange and LCDS. At the time, HEX offered to buy from existing stock exchange shareholders more than 75 percent in the Latvian bourse.

This offer was made on condition that the stock exchange should fully own the LCDS.

Earlier stock exchange officials said the aim of the cooperation was to create a well-functioning securities market infrastructure and increase the visibility of Latvian companies and market liquidity.

"Latvian issuers, investors and professional market participants will all benefit from our cooperation with HEX. Also, the Riga bourse and LCDS together will form a strong entity and our pooled strength and resources will allow us to operate even more efficiently," Riga Stock Exchange President Guntars Kokorevics said.

The Tallinn Stock Exchange came under HEX control last year and was integrated into the HEX trading system in February.

The Riga Stock Exchange and LCDS shareholders are banks and brokerages. Riga Stock Exchange's registered capital is 712,500 lats ($1.2 million).