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Polish stock exchange eyes buy-in to Ukraine market

Polish Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE) is considering a buy-in to Ukraine’s growing stocks and securities industry, a WSE official said Wednesday.

Poland’s leading trading site for company shares, the WSE is conducting talks on the purchase of Ukraine’s Indeks stock exchange, said Ludwik Sobolewski, WSE President. Results of the talks will be made public by September, said Beata Jarosz, a WSE board member, speaking at a Kiev press conference.

The Indeks stock exchange is one of Ukraine’s smaller company share trading venues with a capitalization of little more than a million dollars, but is based in the city of Donetsk, the centre of Ukraine’s booming metals industry. Currently, nine stock exchanges operate in Ukraine with some $7 billion in securities traded in 2007. Indeks accounted for some 3% of the exchanges, the Interfax news agency reported.

Ownership of the Indeks exchange would give the Warsaw Stock Exchange an excellent route for development of Ukrainian stock portfolios, and attraction of Ukrainian capital to Poland, Sobolewski said. Indeks currently is controlled by Rinat Akhmetov, a metals magnate recently rated by Ukraine’s Korrespondent magazine as the richest man in the country. Akhmetov has repeatedly argued for increased foreign investment in the Donetsk region by developing direct routes connecting Donetsk with international capital.

Russia’s RTS stock exchange was offered as a possible buyer of the Indeks exchange, but the deal fell through earlier this year reportedly because of a pricing dispute. (m&