The global recession slowed what, pre-2007, was a burgeoning derivatives market in Central and Eastern Europe. But the outlook is strong for the region, argues Wyn Jenkins.
Just 25 years ago, the idea of a burgeoning derivatives
market in Eastern Europe would have been unbelievable. In the
late 1980s, as Liffe blossomed in London and DTB geared up to
launch in Germany, stock markets in the Central and Eastern
Europe were mothballed behind the iron curtain.
The Communist-era temporarily interrupted a long history of
trading the region. Trading in currencies and bills in Central
and Eastern Europe can be traced back to the 13th century and
over the next three hundred years as many as 15 regional
mercantile exchanges opened across the region. What is now the
Warsaw Stock Exchange opened as the Warsaw Mercantile Exchange
in 1817, the first stock exchange in Prague opened in 1861 and
in Budapest in 1864.
Aside from temporary closures during the First World War,
the region’s bourses traded up to the outbreak of
the Second World War. However, they were all shuttered during
the Communist era only to reopen after the fall of the Berlin
Wall. The Budapest Stock Exchange was relaunched in 1990,
Warsaw re-opened its doors in 1991 and the Prague Stock
Exchange began trading again two years later.
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