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Swiss bourse set to buy virt-x

The Swiss stock exchange (SWX) has said it plans to take over the pan-European blue chip market, virt-x, at a cost of around SFr50 million ($35 million).

The SWX said the deal would consolidate the group's position in the European stock market environment.

The SWX and Britain's Tradepoint Group each own 38.9 per cent of the London-based trading platform, while the remainder of the shares are publicly held.

The stock exchange is offering Tradepoint 12.5 pence (SFr0.29) per share, which the company is obliged to accept under an agreement between the two companies.

It said it would make an offer to all shareholders once it receives approval from the virt-x board of directors.

"We are convinced that, in the future, cross-border platforms featuring standardised trading systems for issuers, investors and intermediaries will become increasingly important," said Dr Reto Francioni, chairman of the board of the SWX.

"With virt-x, we will be fully prepared for this development, since we will already be in possession of an international platform that is well-established technologically."

virt-x was launched in 2001 as a venture between the SWX's blue-chip sector and Tradepoint.

With its launch, the Swiss stock exchange became the first to transfer trading in its blue chips abroad.

But it failed to reach its objective of trading ten per cent of European shares by the summer.

Antoinette Hunziker stepped down as CEO of virt-x in September.

swissinfo


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