Belgrade stocks post record rise after poll

BELGRADE (AFP) – The Belgrade Stock Exchange posted record gains yesterday after a pro-European coalition of Serbian parties defeated nationalists in weekend general elections, Beta news agency reported. The main index – the BELEX-15 – soared by 12.93 percent to close the day at 1,888.17 points, which represents the nascent bourse’s sharpest rise, said Beta. «This is a record. I can hardly remember the last time such a high rise happened,» Misa Brkic, a local economic analyst, told AFP. «This is apparently a reaction to the victory of the pro-European option.» Foreign and local investors in Serbia were on tenterhooks going into Sunday’s elections, fearing an expected victory by the ultranationalist Radical Party. However a pro-European camp spearheaded by President Boris Tadic’s Democratic Party came out on top with 38.8 percent, according to preliminary electoral commission results released yesterday. «If they form a government, we can expect the arrival of new investors in the stock market and further rises. Today’s rise is a message from the business circles,» said Brkic. Before the weekend polls, the BELEX-15 had plunged 26 percent in the period since the Albanian-majority Serbian province of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on February 17.