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Vienna bourse sows the seeds of good neighbourliness

In spite of all the takeover talk among major global exchanges, and the heavy consolidation in eastern Europe’s banking sector, not everyone believes that acquisitions are the only way to expand business in the region. Florian Neuhof talks to Heinrich Schaller, joint CEO of the Wiener Börse, who outlines his vision of cooperation with the developing regional exchanges.

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Heinrich Schaller, Wiener Börse “In Austria, a good part of the privatizations were done on the stock exchange. And that was really a very successful process. In eastern Europe, companies are often bought up by a strategic investor. I don’t think that is conducive for the domestic capital market”
Heinrich Schaller, Wiener Börse

“I WOULD DESCRIBE us as a bridge to the east,” says Heinrich Schaller, joint CEO of the Wiener Börse, sitting in his spacious office, which boasts stylish modern interior design. The office is situated in the grand, old-world architecture of the Vienna stock exchange building. Vienna, a former imperial capital, has a long history as the political and economic hub of central and southeastern Europe. Old habits die hard. And so, like Schaller’s environs, the activities of his bourse can be seen in the context of the past. “However,” he continues, “it would be wrong to describe us as a regional centre, as we are not looking to become strategic investors in other exchanges.”

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