ECONOMY

Athens stock market ready for electronic link with Belgrade

The Athens Stock Exchange announced it had agreed to install its OASIS trading system in and provide consulting services to the Belgrade bourse in a bid to boost cooperation between the two. In the context of a bilateral agreement signed on Friday, the Athens bourse said in a statement on Sunday that it will also provide consulting services to the Belgrade exchange on the development of an institutional and regulatory framework for the operation of the Serbian capital market. The implementation of the project will be conducted by the Athens Stock Exchange and ASYK SA, a member of the Hellenic Exchanges Group, which supports the Greek capital market in issues of information technology and finance, it said. Hellenic Exchanges is the holding company that owns the Athens stock and derivatives exchanges. The Athens bourse said that since Belgrade and Athens would share a common transaction system and a complementary regulatory framework, the arrangement would enhance market liquidity and opportunities of raising capital for companies as well as provide openings for Greek market participants to expand activities. The Athens bourse also said it had had talks last week with Istanbul bourse officials with a view to linking the two markets, the biggest in southeast Europe. The goal is, within 2002, for investors of both countries to be able to observe the two markets in real time and conduct transactions, it said. It said working groups had been established to work out issues related to technical connections, listing and clearance procedures and other regulatory issues. The groups are expected to provide a report on the link-up by the end of February 2002.(Reuters) The open foreign currency positions of Turkey’s crisis-hit banking sector continue to shrink, the report said.