MICEX Eyes Stake in Kazakh Bourse

MICEX stock exchange is holding talks to buy a 5 percent stake in Kazakhstan's bourse KASE, its head Alexander Potemkin said Wednesday.

"Although we have no chance to increase the stake in the future, I am optimistic about the possibility [to buy the stake], we are considering it thoroughly. We are interested in it," Potemkin said.

KASE is planning a secondary offering of no less than $25 million of its shares this year or the beginning of 2008.

Its existing shareholders, including the National Bank of Kazakhstan and 73 financial organizations, have pre-emptive rights to buy most of the shares to be sold.

Potemkin said the Regional Financial Center of Almaty, which runs a trading platform on KASE but is not currently a shareholder, will get up to 25 percent of the bourse's shares. MICEX expects to reach a decision on the investment in the first quarter of 2008.