VILNIUS - OMHEX, the largest operator of stock exchanges in northern Europe, on March 29 was selected as the winning bidder for a stake in the National Stock Exchange of Lithuania and the Central Securities Depository of Lithuania, unofficial sources have confirmed.
However, Gert Tiivas, head of OMHEX Baltic operations, told the Baltic News Service on March 29 that he had yet received no information from the Lithuanian State Property Fund.
The State Property Fund, the government's privatization agency, said earlier in the day that it had sent an invitation to the winning bidder to open negotiations, though the fund did not reveal the bidder's name.
Both OMHEX and a consortium formed by the Warsaw Stock Exchange - the Polish Central Securities Depository and the Euronext alliance of European bourses - have publicly confirmed that they submitted bids for the stake in the National Stock Exchange and the Central Securities Depository.
In early March OMHEX bought over 25 percent of shares in the National Stock Exchange from minority shareholders and applied to the Lithuanian Securities Commission for permission to acquire 34 percent of shares in the Vilnius exchange.
OMHEX owns the national exchanges of Estonia, Latvia, Finland and Sweden, while Euronext is comprised of the Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris and Lisbon exchanges.
The State Property Fund placed on sale a 54.47 percent stake in the National Stock Exchange and a 32 percent stake in the Central Securities Depository as one block in the hope of raising at least 7.45 million litas (2.16 million euros) in total.
The 54.47 percent stake in the National Stock Exchange combines the state's 44.31 percent holding and 10.16 percent of shares owned by small shareholders. The 32 percent stake in the Central Securities Depository is solely owned by the state.