Bulgarian Stock Exchange

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Bulgarian Stock Exchange
BSElogo.jpg
Founded 1991
Headquarters Sofia, Bulgaria
Key People Bistra Ilkova, CEO
Products SOFIX, BG 40, BG TR30, BG REIT indices
Website www.bse.sofia.bg

The Bulgarian Stock Exchange (BSE-Sofia) offers integrated electronic trading of equities, bonds, government securities and its official SOFIX index tracking 19 leading domestic stocks.

Brief history

The first equities market in Bulgaria was established under royal decree in April, 1914. Following WWI it functioned mainly as a forex market but following a revival of Bulgarian equities trading in the 1930s the exchange closed after WWII. After the collapse of communism the BSE-Sofia reopened with passage of the Commerce Act in 1991.

Regulatory oversight

Two developments in 1995 laid the regulatory foundations for the exchange's recent growth - passing the Securities, Stock Exchanges and Investnment Companies Act and establishing the Securities and Stock Exchanges Commission. The Commission subsequently suspended trading on the BSE in late 1996 but the exchange re-launched a year later under the new regulatory guidelines.

In late 1999 parliament passed the Public Offering of Securities Act aimed at regulating all behaviour in the securities market. Then in early 2003 the government established the Financial Supervision Commission to regulate non-banking financial market sectors. The same year BSE-Sofia also began requiring listed companies to conform to International Accounting Standards.

Recent developments

The BSE-Sofia recently announced a huge annual trading turnover increase from BGN 3.38 billion in 2006 to BGN 9.95 billion in 2007. Local reports[1] attributed the increase to opitmism surrounding Bulgaria's joining of the European Union in early 2007 and a corresponding corporate-tax cut from 15% to 10%.

A recent announcement in Austrian markets could soon significantly impact the BSE-Sofia. The Vienna Stock Exchange (VSE) in April 2008[2] launched its own version of the SOFIX - the Bulgarian Traded Index or BTX - tracking the country's seven most liquid shares with a total market capitalisation of 594 million euros. This will offer non-Bulgarian traders and investors a stark alternative to the indices traded in Sofia.

Trading information

Total market capitalization: BGN 23.1 billion

Orders: 0900-1600

Trading hours: 0930-1400

Tick size: BGN 0.001

Daily price-deviation limit: +/-15%

Settlement: T+2 cycle, DVP basis

Fees:

  • BGN 0-25 million = 0.1%
  • BGN 25-75 million = 0.05%
  • BGN 75+ million = 0.01%
  • Govt securities = 0.005%
  • Corp/Muni bonds = 0.01%

Membership

The BSE-Sofia has 10 member broker-dealers [3] and is owned 44% by the Bulgarian government. The exchange oversees the Official and Unofficial Markets and operates the RTS-Plaza trading system and the Client-Order Book Online System (COBOS). It also administers a guarantee fund for transactions and recently adopted a corporate governance code for its members.

References

  1. Business briefs. Sofia Echo.
  2. Stock watch. Sofia Echo.
  3. BSE report 2006. BSE-Sofia.