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Bulgarian bourse to trade foreign shares, state bonds

Staff Writer |
Bulgaria's small stock exchange plans to start trading shares of foreign companies later this year and will set up a secondary market to trade Bulgarian government bonds, aiming to boost liquidity and attract investment, its chief executive said.

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Vasil Golemanski said the Bulgarian Stock Exchange, which uses Deutsche Boerse's Xetra trading platform, plans to offer trading in up to 80 foreign companies that are already listed on the German exchange, within two to four months.

The bourse will set up a special board, BSE International, to trade the foreign shares, which will be denominated in euros and transactions will be cleared by Frankfurt-based Clearstream.

The bourse is also preparing to launch trades in Bulgaria's 3.2 billion euro ($3.6 billion) government securities issued on the local market by September, Golemanski said in an interview at the Reuters Central & Eastern Europe Investment Summit.

"This is the problem with our market - the liquidity is low. If we do not boost the liquidity and the trading volumes, we cannot expect to have a more developed market. This is the key to success," Golemanski said in the interview at the bourse's offices.

The Bulgarian exchange has a market capitalisation of just 9.3 billion levs ($5.3 billion).

Directly offering shares of Frankfurt-listed European and U.S. companies would boost volumes and cut the cost of trading these equities for Bulgarian institutional investors, Golemanski said.

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