Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Romanian SIFs shares up as senate clears cap bill

BUCHAREST, Nov 11 (Reuters) - Shares in Romania's five geographically defined investment funds were near two-week highs on Wednesday after the senate voted to raise the cap on the size of stake that can be held in the funds by a single holder.

Market watchers say raising the cap to 5 percent from the current 1 percent, which the funds oppose, is seen as a way to boost liquidity on Bucharest's bourse, which has a market capitalisation of just 19 billion euros ($28.5 billion).

The cap bill was approved in a 50/24 vote on Wednesday, but still needs the lower house's approval to become law.

The high-yielding funds, or SIFs, are closed-end entities set up by the government in the 1990s as part of a mass privatisation programme and listed on the Bucharest Stock Exchange in 1999.

SIF shares, which have a market capitalisation of around 2.9 billion lei ($1 billion), are among the most liquid on the Bucharest bourse.

The BETFI index, which tracks the five funds, was up 5.2 percent by 0950 GMT, near two-week highs and outperforming the bourse's main index, which was up 2.17 percent.

No comments: