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OMX

OMX opens Nordic exchange

The OMX Nordic Exchange opened on Monday, offering a common presentation of Swedish, Danish and Finnish listed companies.

“This is an important milestone in the integration of the Nordic financial market,” said Magnus Böcker, CEO of OMX.

The new Nordic list will replace the current lists in Stockholm, Copenhagen and Helsinki. Companies from the three countries are to be presented on a common list and divided by segment in accordance with the Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS). This means they will be classified first by market capitalization (Large, Mid and Small Cap), then by industry sector.

“The launch of a common presentation for Finnish, Swedish and Danish companies is one visible step in the financial innovation process in the region. The joint presentation gives investors more to choose from and by focusing on industry sectors we make it easier to compare companies in the same industry across the region,” said Jukka Ruuska, President business area Nordic Marketplace at OMX.

In addition to a common presentation, OMX is also launching Nordic indexes, Nordic information offering and harmonized listing requirements. With these new innovations OMX claims to be “contributing to increased visibility for Nordic listed companies across the region and internationally.

“That is of utmost importance in the highly competitive global financial markets,” said Hans Ole Jochumsen, President business area Information Service & New Markets at OMX.

Norway however has elected to stay out of the deal. Bente A. Landsnes, CEO of the Oslo stock exchange, is not interested in a merger with the OMX Nordic Exchange.

“OMX and the Oslo Stock Exchange have different strategies. Our strategy is to develop the Norwegian Market to make the Norwegian economy as visible as possible both internationally and domestically,” she told Svenska Dagbladet.

STOCKS

Stockholm stock market hits new all-time high

The Stockholm stock exchange closed at a record high on Wednesday, with the OMXS index climbing 1.4 percent to smash the previous record set in 2007.

Stockholm stock market hits new all-time high

The OMXS closed at 430.6, besting by more than three points the previous record of 427.2 set in July 2007.

"Finally, after more than five years, we've come up to the all-time high," Nordea stock strategist Martin Guri told the TT news agency.

The Stockholm stock market's advanced was in line with developments on other exchanges around the world, and can be attributed to a new World Bank forecast indicting advances in global economic growth. Strong retail sales statistics from the United States helped as well.

Guri rejected any notion that the Stockholm exchange's recent rise was any sort of bubble, but is simply a continuation of a strong 2013.

"We had the worst financial and economic crisis since the 1930s. Now we can say that we've left it behind and are moving on to the next chapter," he said.

"The market could rise somewhere between ten and 20 percent this year."

He added that there are many signs of economic improvements, and while economic growth may not be strong, risks have deteriorated, bolstering investor confidence. 

Guri cited central banks in the US, Japan, and the eurozone for stimulating stock market growth.

"They've promised financial markets they plan to keep interest rates low," he said.

Wednesday's OMXS rise was led by heavyweights such as retailer H&M and bank Nordea, which climbed 2.7 percent and three percent, respectively, as the Swedish fashion retailer reported better than expected sales results for December.

Other market winners on Wednesday included pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca, telecom equipment maker Ericsson, and truck maker Scania, all of which rose by around two percent.

The Swedish krona weakened slightly against the dollar, which can now buy 6.48 kronor. The krona-euro exchange rate remain unchanged, at 8.80 kronor to the euro.

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