In support of regional consolidation and development
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has acquired a 5.2 per cent stake in the Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) via a capital increase.
In support of the integration of the Zagreb and Ljubljana bourses, the EBRD will enhance the value of both exchanges by improving corporate governance standards, acting as an independent party to facilitate dialogue among stakeholders and by driving improvements in the regulatory framework and the listing requirements. Issuers and investors will benefit from unified access to capital markets and increased liquidity which will also be driven by the introduction of the Xetra trading system.
Fostering local capital markets is one of the EBRD’s key efforts to strengthen sustainable growth in the region. Under its Local Currency and Local Capital Markets Development Initiative the Bank has already launched several activities, most recently the creation of the SEE Link between the Bulgarian, Croatian and Macedonian stock exchanges and preparatory work to establish a regional Central Counterparty.
Vedrana Jelušić Kašić, EBRD Director for Croatia, said: “This is an important investment and the EBRD is proud of playing a role in the efforts to modernise and harmonise local capital markets. We have already supported ZSE in the past by establishing the Zagreb Stock Exchange Academy, which has had more than 4,000 students so far and we are impressed with the steps the exchange has taken towards greater efficiency in serving the needs of the real economy.”
The EBRD has been active in Croatia as an investor since the country’s independence and has invested some €3.25 billion in more than 180 projects to date. The Bank’s activities include all sectors of the economy.