August 14, 2019 / 2:11 PM / 7 days ago

Israel seeks new brokerages to expand retail trading base

JERUSALEM, Aug 14 (Reuters) - Israel’s securities regulator and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) on Wednesday called on investment houses and financial technology firms to offer retail brokerage services to expand investors’ trading options and cut the cost of services.

Most trading in Israel is done through banks, as well as institutions.

The TASE, which has been struggling with delistings and declining trading volumes, became a public company this month after completing an initial public offering.

Entities considering entering Israel’s capital market as retail brokers to trade in securities and mutual funds are invited to apply by Sept. 15, 2019.

The TASE and ISA said they want to promote technological innovation in the capital market and have already met 15 interested parties. They are also planning to promote changes in regulations that ease the work of retail brokers locally.

Changes include reducing capital requirements and promoting full digitisation of the securities account-opening process.

Ittai Ben-Zeev, the TASE’s chief executive, said it was important to open the TASE to new players.

“The TASE is updating the rules to remove barriers and aligning itself to international standards, to increase the number of active members of TASE,” he said.

“We are confident that the entry of new players with advanced technologies into the Israeli capital market will increase competition for investors and will make the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange dominant and more accessible to the public.” (Reporting by Steven Scheer Editing by Alexandra Hudson)

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