Newex looks to thrive in cultural vacuum
Super idea; shocking timing. The morning Euromoney visited the offices of the New Europe Exchange (Newex), housed in the headquarters of the Wiener Börse, CNBC was reporting once again on the travails of Germany's Neuer Markt and of EMTV in particular. Newex in Vienna cannot, of course, legislate for a German company allegedly fibbing to its shareholders; nor for a share price diving by about 90% from its peak. Nevertheless, it was probably not the most opportune time for Paul Putz, director of business development, to say that Newex wants to be comparable to the Neuer Markt in terms of its transparency and efficiency.
The idea behind Newex - a 50/50 joint venture between the Vienna Stock Exchange and the Deutsche Börse - is straightforward enough. This is to provide a single, euro-denominated trading platform for companies domiciled in central and eastern Europe using the Xetra trading system and Clearstream as the settlement and clearing agent.
In its formative stages, Newex was purely a secondary market platform for 82 companies throughout central and eastern Europe, trading e30 million ($27 million) during November, according to Putz. The real value, he says, will come in 2001 when it starts to attract new issuers, with Putz saying he expects between five and 10 IPOs over the coming 12 months.