Start of Operation of the XNET Network

Mar 16, 2011, 14:00 ET from Hellenic Exchanges SA

ATHENS, Greece, March 16, 2011 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ --

- Trading in International Markets With Safety at a Low Cost

Hellenic Exchanges (HELEX) announces the start of operation of the XNET network, with the execution of the first trades in international developed markets.

XNET was designed and implemented by the HELEX Group in response to the challenges being introduced in European capital markets to simplify cross-border trading. XNET's basic aim is to enable brokers to enrich the access to international market services that they offer, thus improving their competitiveness in this new European environment.

XNET takes advantage of the existing infrastructure of the Hellenic Exchanges Group, in order to provide additional data dissemination services, as well as order routing and the clearing and settlement of cross-border trades, to the international capital markets that are supported, achieving significant economies of scale. In order to provide access to markets, selected "XNET agents" are used, thus ensuring particularly competitive fees.

The unique advantage of XNET, compared to other platforms, is the fact that foreign securities are registered in the existing investor accounts in HELEX's registry, acting as an Investors' CSD, ensuring the increased level of transparency, security and the ability to provide additional services to investors, such as corporate action services. This is achieved either through the online connection with other Depositories that HELEX can use through its participation in the LinkUp Markets ( joint venture, or through HELEX's cooperation with global custodians.

A significant advantage that the XNET network provides is that no additional investment in infrastructure is required in order for brokers to participate and use the abovementioned services, since brokers already have and are using these same technology platforms to trade in the Greek market. At the same time, the competitive fees of the Group, in conjunction with the option of registering securities in HELEX's registry, make XNET a valuable tool in order for members of Athens Exchange to provide quality services to their clients.

At the first stage, the markets that are supported through XNET are developed markets in North America (USA) and Europe (Great Britain, Germany, Belgium, France, Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden) for stocks and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs).

At a second stage, in the near future, regional developing markets of SE Europe, the Middle East and Africa (SEEMEA) will be supported, as well as developed derivative markets.

On the 11th of March 2011 the first trade through XNET took place, while the first 7 brokers, Members of the Athens Exchange, have already signed up to use the network. Today a full cycle (order entry and execution, clearing, settlement and registration on HELEX's registry) of the first trade that took place through XNET was completed.

The Chairman of Athens Exchange and Chief Executive Officer of Hellenic Exchanges Group Mr. Socrates Lazaridis noted: "I am particularly pleased since today the first full cycle of trade execution on international capital markets was completed through XNET. The XNET network enables the brokers of the Athens Exchange to provide trading services in international markets, effectively and at a low cost, through our platform, enjoying significant economies of scale. Given the globalization of investment activity, and the pressure exerted by the European Commission to lower the cost of cross-border trading, XNET becomes particularly significant in this current environment as it allows the creation of added value for Greek Brokers and Investment Firms. I am certain that the market will recognize the competitive advantages of the services that are being offered, and will support our effort, thus contributing in this way in the further strengthening of our network."

Please add Contact Details: Simos Spyrou; +30-210-33-66-616;

SOURCE Hellenic Exchanges SA