WARSAW, May 15 (Reuters) - The controlling shareholders in the Warsaw stock exchange are considering removing the bourse’s chief executive and replacing him with Poland’s Deputy Treasury Minister Pawel Tamborski, several sources close to the shareholders said.
Tamborski, a former head of investment banking in UniCredit’s Polish arm and at Wood & Company, declined to comment on the issue. A spokeswoman for the stock exchange said she had no immediate comment, and the treasury ministry was not immediately available to comment.
The state-controlled bourse is the biggest stock market in central Europe. Under CEO Adam Maciejewski, talks on a tie-up with the Vienna bourse have dragged on, while the Warsaw exchange faces future challenges attracting new investors.
“The treasury wants a markets man on the job to breathe new life into the Warsaw bourse,” one of the sources said, on condition of anonymity.
The Warsaw bourse has 450 listed companies - 46 of them foreign - with a combined market capitalisation of around 900 billion zlotys ($294.5 billion).
Poland’s privatisation programme has generated a steady stream of public offerings on the bourse, attracting new investors. But there are now few state-owned assets left to sell off, leaving the bourse at a crossroads.
The tie-up with the Vienna stock exchange, which also owns smaller exchanges in Prague, Budapest and Ljubljana, could strengthen Warsaw’s position against its rivals in Frankfurt and London.
But talks between Warsaw and Vienna have now been going on for over a year with no sign of an imminent conclusion.
In another challenge to the bourse, a reform of Poland’s state-mandated pension system could reduce the appetite for equities among private pension funds.
Those funds have for a long time been major investors on the Warsaw exchange and eager participants in public offerings. ($1 = 3.0557 Polish Zlotys) (Reporting by Adrian Krajewski and Pawel Sobczak; Editing by Christian Lowe)