The Warsaw Stock Exchange revealed a raft of changes and short-term plans in August. Most importantly, the bourse announced a revision of its market indices. The blue-chip WIG20 index will be gradually replaced by the WIG30. Predictably, the number of companies in the index will rise from 20 to 30 (see table).
The Warsaw Stock Exchange is looking for ways to boost its trading
The new index will launch on September 23 this year and will become the exchange’s blue-chip index. The WIG20 will however continue to be published until 2015. The rules stipulate that no single company can have more than a 10 percent share in the index and only up to seven companies from the same sector can be included in the WIG30 at any given time.
The WSE will also introduce WIG30TR, an index based on prices and revenues from dividends and subscription rights.
Other indices on the WSE will also be modified. The mid-cap mWIG40 will be replaced by the mWIG50 and the small-cap sWIG80 will become the sWIG100.
The bourse had been mulling the idea of creating a WIG5 ultra-blue-chip index, but has withdrawn from it.
The Warsaw Stock Exchange is also planning to expand its other markets and Adam Maciejewski, the WSE’s CEO, said recently that the bourse is strongly considering opening a market for trading agricultural goods and foodstuffs.
The WSE now has three markets: its main, regulated market, where stocks and derivatives are traded; the NewConnect alternative market; and the Catalyst bond market. The WSE group also includes the Polish Power Exchange, where electricity and gas are traded.
Source: The Warsaw Stock Exchange
The WSE’s management also confirmed that the bourse is in talks to buy a 30 percent stake in Aquis Exchange, the London-based trading system. If carried out, the deal would make the WSE the largest shareholder in Aquis. According to sources cited in Polish media, the stake may be sold for around £13 million.
Aquis is currently waiting for approval by UK regulators and hopes to become a new pan-European equities trading market. The institution will operate using a subscription pricing model and aims to bring competition to the European market.
However, the WSE is not the only party interested in Aquis shares. Bob Diamond, the former Barclays chief executive, has been rumored as one of the potential investors. Mr Diamond was ousted from Barclays last year after his involvement in the LIBOR scandal was revealed.
The WSE also recently opened an office in London. Its main focus will be to attract UK-based high-speed trading companies to the Warsaw bourse in order to boost volumes. The office is being led by Peter Niklewicz. “We are currently in discussions with a number of players and the initial feedback has been positive,” Mr Niklewicz told the Financial Times.
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