August 11, 2019 / 11:18 AM / 4 months ago

Despite initial windfall, Swiss stock exchange wants EU spat resolved

FILE PHOTO: A logo logo is seen at the seat of Swiss stock exchange operator SIX Group in Zurich, Switzerland June 17, 2019. Picture taken June 17, 2019. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

VIENNA (Reuters) - The ability to trade Switzerland-listed shares on stock markets in the European Union must be restored if Swiss stocks are to remain attractive, the chief executive of Swiss stock exchange SIX said in remarks published on Sunday.

Investors in the European Union and Switzerland lost direct access to each others’ stock exchanges from July 1 as the two sides squabbled over a partnership treaty that has stalled after years of talks.

The end of mutual recognition initially boosted Swiss shares, with trading volumes soaring last month to their highest in years, but SIX Chief Executive Jos Dijsselhof said in an interview with newspaper NZZ am Sonntag the benefits would not last forever.

“To ensure that Swiss stocks remain attractive in the long term it is important that these can be traded on various stock exchanges, including in the EU,” he said.

Asked whether there was a risk that Swiss companies could move their listings elsewhere, he added: “Yes, that would be possible. So far we do not see that happening ... Everyone assumes this is a short-term situation that can be resolved.”

Separately, SIX is working on a new digital trading platform - the SIX Digital Exchange (SDX) - that will use blockchain technology to speed up trading.

The platform’s launch has repeatedly been pushed back but Dijsselhof said trading should begin next year, although it would take a “bit longer” for new legislation to be put in place to enable the trading of blue-chip stocks.

“The platform is finished and functioning. But now it needs a market, so traders who buy and sell. That is why we are working with banks to define products that should be traded on SDX,” he said.

“Concretely we are talking about warrants, regulated initial digital offerings - a type of digital listing - property and investment funds,” he said.

Reporting by Francois Murphy; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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