HEX moves on Latvia

HEX moves on Latvia

The Helsinki Stock Exchange (HEX) has made a conditional offer to acquire a 75% controlling stake in the Riga Stock Exchange (RSE).

The offer is conditional upon RSE acquiring all issued shares of Latvian Central Depository (LCD) - of which RSE currently holds 27 per cent.

The transaction will create a group uniting the national stock exchange and central securities depository in Latvia, a structure similar to that in place already in Finland and Estonia, say the exchanges. The new group will form a part of HEX's Baltic operations.

RSE, LCD and shareholders of both companies have welcomed the co-operation between HEX, RSE and LCD. Guntars Kokorevics, president of the Riga Stock Exchange, says: "Riga Stock Exchange has long identified the need for a strong strategic partner, as we are convinced that this will benefit the development of the Latvian capital markets. Our co-operation with HEX will benefit Latvian issuers, investors and professional market participants. Additionally, we believe that together the Riga Stock Exchange and Latvian Central Depository will form a strong entity and the synergies created will enable us to operate even more efficiently."

Jukka Ruuska, president and CEO of the HEX Group, says: "This co-operation is an important part or our objective to create a well-functioning and seamlessly integrated Baltic capital market. The successful launch of HEX Tallinn reinforces our commitment to the Baltic markets."

The parties expect to complete the transaction during the first half of 2002, after regulatory approvals. The operational implementation will begin as soon as the ownership transaction is completed.

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