Spain: Spanish Financial Markets Grouped Into a Single Holding Company.
Last Updated: 14 March 2002

The Spanish financial markets holding company known as "Bolsas y Mercados, Sociedad Holding de Mercados y Sistemas Financieros, S.A." has recently been created. This new company is due to integrate the management companies of the four Spanish Stock Exchanges, the fixed income market, the futures and options market, the public debt market and the Spanish book-entry settlement service. This company is a result of the undertakings made by the Spanish financial markets in the Protocol signed on June 20, 2001, which laid the foundations for their integration into a single company.

Virtually all shareholders of the companies which operate the different secondary markets and settlement systems, 129 shareholders in total, have taken part in the incorporation of the new company.

The next step in the integration process is a valuation of the shares of the companies that manage the Spanish secondary markets and settlement systems in order to establish an exchange ratio between such shares and those of the holding company. Once the valuation works are finalised, the holding company will make an offer to all shareholders of the relevant companies to exchange their shares for newly issued shares in the holding company.

Upon completion of the integration process, the holding company will consider the possibility of becoming a public company. The listing of the company would help to show its real value and to increase its public relevance.

Grouping together the different stock exchanges under a single management, from trading to book-entry settlement service, will entail an improvement in efficiency and a reduction of costs. The creation of the holding company enables more efficient decisions being taken due to the new joint capacity, the development of business opportunities, the creation of value and the growth and increasing importance of the Spanish market. In short, the holding should strengthen the Spanish markets against future supranational challenges.

The new integrated market in Spain offers the most diversified structure in Europe with a turnover of 3,000 billion Euro in shares and fixed income and 36,5 million of derivative product contracts.

Trading in shares in the Spanish markets exceeded 941,000 million Euro during 2001. The Spanish public fixed income market is five times larger than the Euronext public fixed income market, four times larger than the German public fixed income market and larger than the London public fixed income market, reaching 2,100 billion Euro in trading in 2001. With regard to private fixed income, turnover was 141,382 million Euro last year.

Uría & Menéndez is acting as legal advisor to "Bolsas y Mercados, Sociedad Holding de Mercados y Sistemas Financieros, S.A.".

The content of this press release does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on in that way. Specific advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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