German platform in Sofia

SOFIA (Reuters) – The Bulgarian Stock Exchange has signed a deal with Deutsche Boerse to adopt its trading platform Xetra and expand its operations for an undisclosed sum, it said yesterday. «Under the five-year agreement the Deutsche Boerse will organize the trade and take technological control over the trade,» the Sofia bourse said in a statement. The Bulgarian stock exchange said it plans to launch Xetra electronic order matching trading in the middle of 2008 to help it integrate with international markets. The Frankfurt bourse operator outbid Greece’s Hellenic Exchanges, the Nordic and Baltic bourse operator OMX and Borsa Italiana for the deal. Sofia bourse’s total market capitalization more than doubled in a year to 29 billion levs ($21.43 billion) at the end of October, boosted by the country’s European Union membership, but its trade volumes are still low, and initial public offerings are few. Bulgaria’s government is considering selling its 44 percent controlling stake in the exchange, but has said the sale is not a top priority.