Warsaw Bourse Switches to NYSE Platform as Volumes Surge

The Warsaw Stock Exchange (GPW) switched to NYSE Euronext (NYX)’s new trading system to speed up transactions after stock turnover on central Europe’s fastest-growing equity market soared almost four-fold over the past decade.

The operator entered a strategic partnership with NYSE Euronext in 2010 and bought its Universal Trading Platform, which enables high-frequency transactions. The number of companies listed on Warsaw’s main market has doubled, while the average daily turnover soared to about 750 million zloty ($238 million) since the previous Warset system was started in 2000, according to data on the exchange’s website.

“All’s working fine,” Blazej Karwowski, a spokesman for the bourse, said after the session started at 9 a.m. today.

The bourse, founded two years after Poland’s communist government collapsed in 1989, currently lists 438 companies on its main market, including PKO Bank Polski SA, the largest Polish bank, and PZU SA, the country’s biggest insurer, with a combined value of 710 billion zloty. In 2007 the state- controlled operator started the NewConnect market for smaller companies and two years later bought MTS-CeTo, a platform for bond trading, from Italy’s MTS SpA and local banks.

The benchmark WIG20 Index (WIG20) fell 0.7 percent to 2,381.12 at 9:01 a.m. in Warsaw, extending this year’s decline to 7.8 percent. Warsaw Exchange shares gained 0.9 percent to 39.59 zloty, climbing for a fifth day.

Together with the start of the new system the exchange cut equity trading hours by 30 minutes to end at 5:05 p.m. local time as of today. The bourse won’t hold a trading session tomorrow to “minimize risks related to transactions settlement,” after the new system was started, Chief Executive Officer Adam Maciejewski said in a statement on April 9.

The exchange is in preliminary talks on a merger with the Vienna bourse that would create a hub for equities trading and initial share offerings. The operators, which have fought for dominance in the region, will decide in the next few months on whether to start advanced negotiations, Leszek Pawlowicz, chairman of the Warsaw exchange’s board, said last week.

To contact the reporters on this story: Piotr Bujnicki in Warsaw at pbujnicki@bloomberg.net; Konrad Krasuski in Warsaw at kkrasuski@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Wojciech Moskwa at wmoskwa@bloomberg.net

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