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IFC TO ASSIST IN ESTABLISHING NEW ELECTRONIC STOCK EXCHANGE IN VENEZUELA


Mauricio Perea
(202) 473-7997
Peter Tropper
(202) 458-9124


WASHINGTON, D.C., June 7 -- The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has approved its first investment in a stock exchange operation, a new electronic securities exchange to be located in Caracas. The new Bolsa Electrónica de Valores de Venezuela will be a registered securities exchange owned by its member brokers. The exchange will operate electronically and will have no trading floor. It is designed to offer a more efficient and cost-effective alternative to the two securities exchanges currently operating in Venezuela. IFC will invest US$500,000 for a roughly nine percent equity interest in Sistema Electrónico de Transacciones S.A. (SET), a service company that will own and operate the trading, settlement, and clearing systems for the electronic exchange. SET will also handle the exchange's information dissemination program and monitor members' compliance with the exchange's trading rules. In addition to offering more transparent and credible trading procedures, the new exchange will provide access to f
oreign and domestic brokers who are now excluded from exchange membership, increase the efficiency and transparency of trading, improve the quality and timeliness of information available to investors and regulators, and expand coverage nationwide. "This is an important institution-building investment for Venezuela's securities market," according to Mr. Julio F. Lastres, Manager of the Capital Markets Division in IFC's Latin America and the Caribbean Department. "The new exchange will bring improved protection for local and foreign investors. It will also make new products available for trading, like money market instruments, commodities, options, and futures." IFC is a member of the World Bank Group and is the leading multilateral source of equity and loan finance for private sector projects in developing countries.