VILNIUS - The upcoming sale of the National Stock Exchange of Lithuania has led to a speculative frenzy for exchange shares, with OMHEX, the Nordic-Baltic exchange leader, announcing on March 3 that it was buying shares in the exchange from minority shareholders.
"OMHEX has agreed with various leading Lithuanian securities market participants and financial investors to acquire their shares in the NSEL," the company said in a statement.
Gert Tiivas, head of OMHEX's Baltic operations, confirmed that OMHEX was buying shares through the local brokerage company G. Steponkaus Kontora, as well as from other minority shareholders.
However, he refused to disclose how many shares in the National Stock Exchange investors have so far agreed to sell.
"We indicated our target amount in our application to the Securities Commission - that is, 34 percent of shares in NSEL," he said.
OMHEX is a potential buyer in the privatization of the National Stock Exchange, as is the Warsaw Stock Exchange. The two are going head-to-head to acquire a 54.47 percent stake in the Vilnius-based securities exchange and a 32 percent stake in the Central Securities Depository.
Both sides see the acquisition of the Vilnius exchange as a logical expansion to their existing business. OMHEX already controls the Tallinn and Riga stock exchanges, while the Warsaw Stock Exchange, which is still state-owned, has claimed that the future of the Lithuanian stock market should proceed through its eastern neighbor.
The combined price for the two assets is 7.45 million litas (2.2 million euros).