|Macedonian Stock Exchange|
|Key People||CEO Ivan Steriev|
The Macedonian Stock Exchange (MSE), located in one of Europe's newest and smallest independent states in Eastern Europe's Balkan region, has grown steadily since its inception. However, the MSE is now under pressure, along with near neighbors like the Sarajevo Stock Exchange, Banja Luka Stock Exchange and Montenegro Stock Exchange, to either consolidate or be bought as the global exchange market goes more digital.
The Macedonian Stock Exchange (MSE) began in September 1995at an inaugural meeting that established the exchange with 13 bank, three insurance and three investment members. In 2003 the MSE signed agreements with Serbia's Belgrade Stock Exchange, Croatia's Zagreb Stock Exchange and Bulgaria's Sofia Stock Exchange to launch a common Internet trading portal. MSE had its best year since inception in 2007, posting record turnover on trading and peaks for its benchmark MBI-10 Index, which broke 10,000 for the first time ever.
However, in 2007 an article entitled "Why is the Macedonian Stock Exchange Unsuccessful?" argued that the lack of trading activity on the MSE was due partly to Macedonia's high unemployment and interest rates, which lowered the country's saving and investment rates and its tax base.
Author Sam Vaknin added that the relative lack of enforceable property rights in Macedonia also harms investor confidence in the integrity of its stock market.
Nonetheless, America's USAID agency has spent US$2.5 million since inception to develop the MSE's capital markets by promoting transaparency, corporate governance and access to capital, US Ambassador to Macedonia Phillip Reeker told the MSE's annual conference in April 2010. He noted that the MSE had received "strong support" from the government of Macedonia prior to the conference.
In June 2010 the Macedonia Stock Exchange recorded market capitalization for shares of 129.5 billion Macedonian denars (about $US2.5 billion), up from 117.5 billion one month earlier. However, the market cap for bonds listed on the MSE dropped from 14.8 billion denars to 13.4 billion denars over the same period and turnover also fell on the month from 292.7 billion denars to 240.9 billion.
Chief Executive Officer Ivan Steriev.
The MSE and some of its equally-small Balkan neighbors appear to have become growing targets for ownership consolidation or outright takeover by regional giants. In October 2009, Zagreb Stock Exchange CEO Roberto Motusic said consolidation among the small regional exchanges like the Macedonian Stock Exchange, either as a single entity or a s part of a larger regional entity, was a matter of "when, not if it will happen". The same month the President of Macedonia's Securities and Exchange Commission, Nakeva Kavrakova, called for the "immediate sale" of the MSE to help boost trade and lift values on the exchange. Talks of a possible sale of MSE began in 2008, the Macedonian Business Monthly reported, and have attracted some interest from foreign stock exchanges.
- History. Macedonian Stock Exchange.
- Why is the Macedonian Stock Exchange Unsuccessful?. GlobalPolitican.com.
- Macedonian Stock Exchange 11th Annual Conference “International and Regional Economic Challenges” Remarks of Ambassador Philip T. Reeker. US Embassy of Macedonia.
- June 2010 Monthly Report. Macedonian Stock Exchange.
- Balkan Stock Markets Should Consolidate, Zagreb Bourse CEO Says. Bloomberg.
- Macedonian Stock Exchange should be sold immediately. Macedonian Business Monthly.