Stock exchanges: Vienna calls time on London
Austria’s Wiener Börse is looking to steal some of the London Stock Exchange’s thunder in 2008 and break its stranglehold on international equity issuance from central and eastern Europe.
"Many of the companies that have listed in London would have generated more press coverage by listing in Vienna"
With one or two exceptions, the LSE snaffled the lion’s share of initial public offerings from emerging Europe last year – including the $8 billion-plus offering from Russian commercial bank VTB. The UK bourse’s small-cap segment, the Alternative Investment Market, has also been a beneficiary of listings by companies from Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine, which accounted for the bulk of new issuance activity from emerging Europe in 2007. Ironically, Vienna is looking to use London’s recent success against it, with Wiener Börse’s joint chief executive, Heinrich Schaller, arguing that the slew of listings in London has meant that in publicity terms the IPOs by central and eastern European firms have effectively cannibalized each other. "Many of the companies that have listed in London would have generated more press coverage by listing in Vienna," he says, adding that over the past year the Austrian exchange, with a roughly 30% increase in membership and a 50% increase in average monthly turnover – from €10.5