Tel Aviv Bourse Chief Sees Trading Day Switch Talks Within Month

The board of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange intends to discuss plans for a Monday to Friday trading day switch within a month in an effort to attract foreign investors and boost volumes.

“I’m shooting for a board meeting sometime in the next month,” TASE Chief Executive Officer Yossi Beinart said in an interview at the World Federation of Exchanges annual meeting in Doha. “We believe this can be very good at attracting foreign investors because the fact that we trade on Sunday leaves them exposed.”

The exchange is trying everything from easing rules for high-tech companies to switching the days of its trading week to boost volumes and attract new companies to the exchange. Volumes have plunged 31 percent since 2010, when MSCI Inc. upgraded the nation to developed-market status. Just two companies have issued shares in initial public offerings in Tel Aviv this year, with another two dual-listing their shares. That compares with a record 62 companies in 2007, according to bourse data.

“Even if we decide to do it, it will be at least a year to year-and-a-half process,” said Beinart, putting the odds of the proposal passing at 50 percent. “It’s not a five minute decision.” While there is no opposition, there need to be labor negotiations and talks about systems and clearing, he said.

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