stock exchanges

The Yangon Stock Exchange, reactivated several months ago after the civilian government headed by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi took office, now has a handful of listings like neighbours Cambodia and Laos, where Japanese ownership and technical assistance were also instrumental in startups.

Myanmar’s political transition has already departed from the other two countries’ model of single-party authoritarian rule despite regular elections, but the economic paths overlap. Investors remain wary of heavy state control and direction as they await elaboration of the majority National League for Democracy’s modernisation and stabilisation platform and implementation steps. Foreign buyers have not yet been permitted, despite urging from bilateral and multilateral donors and Japan’s Daiwa Securities, involved in stock market efforts for two decades. Without bolder vision, early enthusiasm for a new frontier destination will wane, repeating the next-door pattern. Read more

The Hungarian central bank recently announced that it had purchased the Budapest Stock Exchange from its previous owner, the Vienna Stock Exchange. This peculiar transaction was not widely reported in the international press. But it is important for FT readers to be informed about this strange move, because it is absolutely unprecedented for a central bank to own and manage a recognised securities exchange.

The stock exchange is the most visible institution of the capital market in any country. In most cases it is owned and controlled either by its members or by profit-seeking private investors. The latter are not identical to the members, who participate in trading and execute individual transactions. Members of the stock exchange constitute a special and privileged bunch: they represent the most influential stakeholders who decide on securities listing, information dissemination on individual companies and transactions, price formation, trading systems, clearing and settlement, depository and safekeeping, etc. As a consequence, members often form a self-regulating body, which is expected to work together with the regulatory and supervisory authorities of the government. Read more

Tedpix index, 2 years. Source: Tehran Stock Exchange

Iranian investors’ concerns over the future of nuclear negotiations with the world powers, added to falling oil prices, have caused further falls in shares prices on the Tehran Stock Exchange.

The bourse’s main index, the Tedpix, closed at 66,902 on Wednesday – the last working day this week – about 11 per cent down from its 75,949 points on November 24, when investors expected the nuclear negotiators to yield results, particularly an easing of international sanctions over Tehran’s nuclear programme. Read more

The Bucharest Stock Exchange is the largest bourse in post-communist south-east Europe and for spells in the past decade has been ranked as one of the world’s best-performing.

Now the exchange and its new largest shareholder have set their sights on becoming a financial hub for the region, eyeing MSCI emerging-market status within three years, substantial increases in capitalisation, and greater participation by foreign investors and pension funds. Read more

Tanzania, the best-performing stock market in Africa so far this year, has lifted restrictions on foreign ownership of shares, potentially unleashing pent up demand for companies listed in the small Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange.

The exchange said in a statement released on Thursday that “as per the new foreign investors regulations dated 19 September 2014, there are no longer restrictions for foreign investors to buy shares or bonds at the exchange”.

Source: Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange

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If you want something done, do it yourself. That’s the approach taken by the Nairobi Securities Exchange, which, despite such appeal that it attracts 60 per cent of its value from foreigners, managed not a single IPO last year. That hardly fits with ambitious growth plans for the bourse of 60 or so stocks.

But, at last, the first listing of this year is nigh. And who should it be? The NSE itself. Read more

South Korea’s stock exchange opened a gold trading platform on Monday with the hope of boosting transparency of gold trades and rooting out shady deals used for tax evasion.

Eight brokerages and 49 dealers were allowed to participate in the market. They will get tax benefits to encourage their active participation and they will be exempted from trading commissions temporarily until March 2015. Importers of gold to be traded on the exchange will also be exempted from tariffs to increase supply. Read more

If you had $100 at the start of 2013, and took a punt on a few emerging market exchanges, which ones would have made you a fast buck, and which would have reduced you to tears?

Beyondbrics takes a look at the best and worst performers in 2013. Read more

With a restrained grin, Mihaly Varga, Hungary’s economy minister, pressed the button to open trading at the Budapest Stock Exchange (BSE) on Friday – simultaneously inaugurating the Xetra trading system for the first time in the Hungarian capital. Read more

It’s the ultimate frontier market. On the top floor of a building in the Himalayan town of Thimphu are the modest headquarters of the Royal Securities Exchange of Bhutan, which has just 11 employees, 21 listed companies, four brokers and a turnover that sometimes barely exceeds 10m ngultrum ($160,000) a month.

“We haven’t yet established all the fundamentals of a capital market,” says Dorji Phuntsho, chief executive of the exchange, acknowledging that some of the latest prices shown date back to the 1990s. “It’s embarrassing that the shops are open but there are no customers.” Read more

The end of a year-long freeze on stock market listings in China might sound look good news for investors but for several reasons Chinese stocks fell on Monday, the first day of trading since the weekend announcement, with the ChiNext Composite index – representing China’s answer to the Nasdaq exchange – plunging 8.26 per cent, its biggest single day decline in its four-year history. Read more

There is plenty of investment appetite for African stocks among institutional investors, and the continent’s financial markets are taking notice.

Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya and Angola have all recently pushed ahead with plans to deepen and improve their financial markets. But there is still a long way to go. Read more

Commodities bosses have spent the last two years trying to put as much rhetorical distance as possible between their companies and South Africa.

Not Ivan Glasenberg (pictured), chief executive of Glencore Xtrata and a South African himself. Undeterred by a negative perception of his mother country caused by crippling strikes, rising costs and often unreliable government policies, he has just announced an even closer relationship with South Africa. Read more

By Steve Phillips of Nasdaq OMX

At the end of 2012, foreign direct investment in Colombia was at an all-time high of nearly $16.7bn, up 12-fold from 2003. In the first six months of this year FDI was at $8.75bn, a clear indication that the Colombia marketplace, and much of Latin America, continues to draw a significant swath of foreign capital to fuel its economies and markets.

This new activity is positive for the markets. However, as new liquidity flows continue to build in the region, market complexity increases. Read more

The Warsaw Stock Exchange is to launch a new, expanded WIG30 index of its 30 largest and most liquid listed companies next month.

The WSE hopes the move will boost interest among investors in the additional 10 stocks. It also hopes more of the biggest companies in central and eastern Europe will want to be listed on it. Read more

Capitalism is supposed to be all about second acts – getting up after failing, and using the experience to do better the next time around. That’s the path taken by Ludwik Sobolewski, fired as head of the Warsaw Stock Exchange after a conflict of interest scandal who is now taking over the stock exchange in Bucharest.

Sobolewski brings experience and a bit of star power to Bucharest, which is growing well but is still a much smaller exchange than the one he leaves behind in WarsawRead more

After a two year stalemate, China and the US signed a memorandum of understanding on enforcement cooperation last Friday, opening the possibility of US regulators gaining access to the audit papers of hundreds of Chinese companies listed on US exchanges. The agreement was signed between the US Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) and China’s finance ministry and its Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC).

What are its ramifications? Read more

Normally, when a country’s president weighs in on a potential merger of national stock exchanges, the response is enthusiastic.

But the unexpected backing by the Czech Republic’s Milos Zeman for a merger of the Prague and Warsaw stock exchanges has instead sown confusion into central European capital markets. Read more

Investing in Zimbabwe is not for the faint-hearted. But its stock exchange has been booming of late. To maintain the momentum, management at the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange is planning to sell shares in the organisation this year to raise funds for modernisation.

Tafadzwa Chinamo, chief executive of the Zimbabwean Securities Exchange Commission said in an interview with Bloomberg that an initial public offering would take place before the end of the year, with a likely valuation of around $15-20m. Read more

Algos – those complicated and increasing popular beasts – have proved a headache for financial regulators the world over.

India’s financial market regulator is trying to bring them further under control. As of May 27, algorithmic trading systems in the country will be audited every six months and stock exchanges will have powers to suspend and penalise traders who don’t take action to ensure their systems comply with requirements. Read more