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ATHEX gets green light to acquire stake in BELEX

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The Athens Stock Exchange (ATHEX) has been given the green light by the Securities Commission of Republic of Serbia to acquire a 10.24% stake in Belgrade Stock Exchange (BELEX). The operator of Greece’s stock and equity derivatives markets did not say how much it will pay for the stake in BELEX.

The two bourses are joining forces to strengthen their presence in Southeast Europe and benefit from new opportunities. This cooperation is based on two principles: the mutual conviction that their respective capital markets should assume a more influencing role in the sustainable economic development of the local economies and the common vision that only by joining forces regional markets can efficiently and effectively address the intensifying challenges and enhance the offering to issuers, both in the EU and internationally.

At the same time, BELEX has decided to enhance its trading facilities by migrating its trading activities as Market Operator to the ATHEX’s Trading Platform, enlarging the Common Trading Platform pool of liquidity and services. All market participants will benefit from the enlargement of both capital markets and the cross-trading opportunities offered.

AXIA Ventures Group Limited acted as exclusive financial advisor to ATHEX in the transaction, while Alexopoulos & Associates acted as legal advisor.

As a next step, BELEX and ATHEX will closely cooperate with the Serbian Government – Ministry of Finance towards the enhancement of the Serbian Capital Market through the introduction of new products and services that will support the flow of capital from investors from local and international investors to issuers listed in BELEX.

“ATHEX, both as a market operator and as a public company has the necessary experience to support BELEX grow its capital market through this strategic alliance. With BELEX along with the Cyprus Stock Exchange and ATHEX on the Common Trading Platform we are taking another step towards our long-term goal for sustainable business by increasing the collective liquidity pool and enlarging our broader regional network.” Socrates Lazaridis, ATHEX CEO said in a statement.

For his part, Sinisa Krneta, BELEX CEO, said: “This alliance is an organic extension of years long successful cooperation and ever-growing business ties between ATHEX and BELEX. In order to contribute to the sustainable development of the Serbian capital market we expect that this new strategic and technological partnership will help us enhance market infrastructure, overcome investment bottlenecks, boost capital formation and generate abundant investment opportunities “.

Belgrade Stock Exchange, was established in 1894 and, regardless the activity gaps in its history, it has been committed to the development of entrepreneurship, investment culture and stock market industry in Serbia ever since. The Athens Stock Exchange, was established in 1876 and has consistently participated in the financial and business development of the capital markets.