November 1, 2017 / 9:37 AM / a year ago

Bulgaria's bourse launches trading in state securities

SOFIA, Nov 1 (Reuters) - The Bulgarian Stock Exchange launched trading in state treasury bonds on Wednesday in a move aimed at boosting transparency and attracting investors to the low-liquid bourse.

Some 20 issues of Bulgarian treasury bonds with a total nominal value of 5.5 billion levs ($3.27 billion) are now offered for trading, said Vassil Golemanski, chief executive of the exchange.

The issues cover all of Bulgaria’s locally sold bonds except a few issues that will mature within six months.

The finance ministry has said it plans to sell up to 1 billion levs in new bonds on the local market next year.

“We have worked hard to have the government securities on a regulated market for secondary trade,” Deputy Finance Minister Marinela Petrova said, adding the move was aimed at increasing “transparency, accessibility and fairness in determining the price of the securities.”

To help support the new market, the stock exchange, the central depositary and 13 investment intermediaries have agreed not to charge investors trading fees on state bonds for one year.

Traders welcomed the launch.

“This is very good news that will boost transparency. We expect increased interest to the Bulgarian capital market,” said Dimitar Georgiev, head of trading at Sofia-based brokerage Elana Trading.

$1 = 1.6802 leva Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova; editing by Jason Neely

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