Poland, Austria Exchange Tie-Up Nearing Solution
Despite cooling of talks between Austria and Poland about a possible merger of their two stock exchanges, the CEO of the Warsaw stock exchange has given his strongest hint yet that a deal is drawing closer.
"I'm convinced that quite soon we can propose some solution, and this solution should be the right one," CEO of the Warsaw Stock Exchange, Adam Maciejewski told CNBC.
"You can create something bigger, something stronger, something much more interesting for your customers."
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The two bourses, rivals for many years as they have jostled for influence in Eastern Europe, began discussions in April and have yet to reach a solution. But Maciejewski said that there wouldn't be any difficulty with the move despite the different ways in which the two stock exchanges trade.
"Having different trading systems, different solutions, does not mean you cannot create something which is coherent. Something which could be used by all your members. So I believe that this is not a big obstacle," he said.
(Read More: Poland No Longer the Darling of Investors)
A merger would potentially create a hub for equities trading and initial share offerings in Central and Eastern Europe. It would also draw Poland closer to the CEE Stock Exchange Group (CEESEG) which is a holding company comprising the stock exchanges of Vienna, Budapest, Ljubljana and Prague.
The Warsaw Stock Exchange had 105 initial public offerings (IPOs) last year (40 percent of all listings in Europe), although many floats were relatively small in size. Trading volumes fell 26 percent between 2011-2012 but since January this year, they have come back strongly according to Maciejewski.
The bourse has climbed 125 percent since it hit a low in February 2009 after the financial crash. This year has been volatile so far, with stocks falling as much as 10 percent but currently flat year-to-date.
(Read More: Austria Defies Mounting Pressure to End Bank Secrecy)
This comes as the economy in Poland struggles, with stuttering growth that has failed to match that of pre-crisis years. The country managed to avoid recession earlier this year with a revised figure showing its economy grew by just 0.1 percent in the first quarter after showing a contraction in the last quarter of 2012.
—By CNBC.com's Matt Clinch. Follow him on Twitter