* Polish bourse wants to be dominant player in CEE
* Sees merger with Vienna as part of the plan
* Further talks need approval from supervisory board (Adds Warsaw bourse deputy CEO)
WARSAW/VIENNA, Jan 16 (Reuters) - The Warsaw bourse (GPW) hopes to conclude a tie-up with Vienna’s stock exchange this year and is awaiting approval from its supervisory board to begin the second stage of talks, its CEO said on Thursday.
The Polish state-controlled bourse, already the biggest stock market in central Europe, wants to become a regional leader and as part of that plan aims to merge with the CEE Stock Exchange Group (CEESEG).
The group owns the Vienna bourse and smaller exchanges in Prague, Budapest and Ljubljana.
In November, the Warsaw exchange’s chief executive Adam Maciejewski said the bourse’s management had made a positive recommendation on a merger after concluding the first stage of talks with the CEESEG.
“I would wish that this transaction is realised this year,” Maciejewski told reporters. “I do not know if this will be the case, because it is not a decision of the management.”
In order to enter into more specific negotiations and conduct a due diligence of CEESEG, the Polish exchange needs approval from its supervisory board.
Maciejewski said the possible merger with Vienna could be accompanied by a share issue by the Warsaw stock exchange.
The deputy chief executive of the Warsaw stock exchange, Beata Jarosz, said on Thursday that the supervisory board was likely to decide in the coming weeks on whether to allow talks to proceed.
Austrian media reported in December that talks about the merger were not set for a quick conclusion.
“We are in talks with the Warsaw Stock Exchange. And these are open with regard to the timing and result,” the CEESEG’s press office said on Thursday. (Reporting by Pawel Bernat in Warsaw and Georgina Prodhan in Vienna; Editing by Susan Fenton)