At a news conference held in Budapest on Monday, Attila Szalay-Berzeviczy, the chairman of the Budapest Stock Exchange (BSE), said European Union approval for the acquisition by HVB Bank of the exchange group was expected in mid-February.
The approval, pending since the Summer, is a pre-condition for the proposed integration of the BSE and the Budapest Commodity Exchange (BCE) – provided the Exchange AGM in the Spring also approves the transaction.
The BSE also plans to acquire the stake held by the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) in KELER (Central Depository and Clearing House), though exchange will have to go public and issue additional stock to raise the funds to buy it. The BSE says it expects the KELER acquisition to be completed by the middle of next year.
2004 was a good year for the BSE. Turnover was up, and the expected profit after tax is around HUF 1 billion (Euros 4 million), a considerable increase compared to the last year (HUF 129 million, or Euros 516,000).