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Wiener Börse: The alternative AIM

Heinrich Schaller, joint CEO of the Wiener Börse, believes that he can challenge AIM for listings for western European companies with an eastern European focus.

Vienna bourse sows the seeds of good neighbourliness

Like most people newly appointed to lead an organization, Heinrich Schaller, joint CEO of the Wiener Börse since June 2006, has come in with some new ideas. Located in a country that has centuries-old ties to the markets of central and eastern Europe, the exchange must have shed envious glances at London’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM). While the Newex exchange, a joint venture with the Deutsche Börse that hoped to attract IPOs from CEE companies, quickly floundered, AIM seems to have a magnetic attraction.

Schaller makes it clear that the Wiener Börse does not covet listings from companies that could list domestically on one of the bourses that are in a cooperation agreement with the Austrian exchange.

But in a confident assessment of the capacity of his exchange, he believes that he can challenge AIM for listings for western European companies with an eastern European focus. “We will try to tempt such companies to come and list with us,” he declares. “We will begin with this in 2007.”

Schaller cannot be accused of being soft on himself when it comes to new year resolutions; this one is surely right up there with kicking a nicotine addition.

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