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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Markets Eased in Estonia

TALLINN, Estonia -- A new Estonian securities law approved by parliament Tuesday should strengthen minority shareholder rights, open the market further to European Union investors and boost volumes through increased transparency, analysts said.

They said the law, which introduces buyout rules for investors crossing the 50 percent threshold in a listed company and clearly sets out rules for share issues, could also pave the way for more initial public offerings.

"I welcome any kind of progress in legislation that involves the securities market. The changes will help smaller and foreign investors feel much more secure on our market," Suprema analyst Veikko Maripuu said.

The law prescribes equal treatment for all minority shareholders, who must all receive the same offer in the event of a buyout, and gives the bourse the right to block any buyout that fails to comply.

"This [minority buyout rules] has been one of the most widely acknowledged shortcomings of market regulations and has reduced investor faith in investing in listed companies," Tallinn bourse head Gert Tiivas said.

Amendments to the securities market act will also make it easier for EU brokerages to operate on the Estonian market since they will no longer have to have a representative office established in the Baltic country.