By Steven Scheer
TEL AVIV, Sept 11 Tel Aviv Stock Exchange's
(TASE) members must float the bourse to revive trading volumes
that have slumped in recent years, Israel's securities regulator
said on Wednesday.
Volumes have halved since 2010 to 1 billion shekels ($279
million) a day and TASE has seen just three small share listings
since the end of 2011.
A row between TASE's management and the Israel Securities
Authority (ISA) over how to boost trade forced the exchange's
chief executive and chairman to resign in July.
"Moving the exchange to a for-profit exchange is most
important," ISA Chairman Shmuel Hauser said, referring to a TASE
flotation - one of 20 recommendations in an interim ISA report
on boosting volumes and encouraging participation.
"Eight of the 10 highest volume stock exchanges globally are
for-profit exchanges. We have to seriously study this," he said.
A similar proposal in 2007 - when volumes reached their peak
and members were making money - was rejected. Hauser said the
change in circumstances may make the move more acceptable.
Lowering capital gains tax to 15 percent from 25 percent was
also vital, he said.
That, however, would need approval from Finance Minister
Yair Lapid. He was not immediately available for comment.
Other recommendations include studying the viability of
trading on Fridays rather than Sundays, lowering or eliminating
fees for trading and clearing, trading foreign currency and
launching new financial products such as credit default swaps.
Trade on Friday, even for just two or three hours, would
also help boost volumes, Hauser said. Israel's work week is
Sunday to Thursday.
He also said a TASE committee is considering "dozens" of
candidates for CEO and that a decision is likely by mid-October.
A final version of the report is expected in November.