Regulators clear Vienna's takeover of Slovenian stock exchange
The Vienna Stock Exchange won anti-trust regulators' approval to take over Slovenia's main bourse, the Austrian operator said Thursday, dpa reported.
Wiener Boerse agreed in June to buy an 81.01-per-cent stake in the stock exchange of the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana, beating an offer from Greek Hellenic Exchanges.
Slovenian anti-trust authorities have now cleared the deal, the Vienna exchange said in a statement.
As a first step, Ljubljanska Borza will be linked into the Vienna exchange's trading data system, which also includes bourses in Budapest, Bucharest, Sarajevo and Banja Luka, the statement said.
The Vienna stock exchange strengthened its position in central Europe in June by raising its stake in the Budapest market to 37.7 per cent. It has also expressed interest in taking over the Prague stock exchange.
Terms of the Slovenia takeover were not disclosed. Media reports said the Vienna exchange paid 38 million euros (52 million dollars) for its stake.
Vienna Stock Exchange executives have voiced hopes that taking over the Ljubljana exchange will spur privatization in the former Yugoslav republic, which joined the European Union in 2004 and switched to the euro in 2007.
An International Monetary Fund report last year said Slovenia has lagged other ex-communist nations of eastern Europe in expanding its capital markets, in part because some major state-controlled companies have yet to go public.
Deeper capital markets would boost Slovenia's economic growth prospects, the IMF said. It urged the Ljubljana stock exchange to link with other European exchanges.