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Argentina

Buenos Aires Stock Exchange creates new listing section for technology stocksAllende & Brea

In an effort to boost the depressed domestic securities market, the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange (BASE) authorized a new section for listing stocks of companies with activities in the areas of e-commerce, telecommunications technology, computers and the internet, and biotechnology. Rumours about the new listing section (popularly known as Nasdaquito – little Nasdaq) had been circulating in the Argentine market throughout the past year.

The Argentine Securities and Exchange Commission (CNV) issued last December specific regulations in line with the BASE resolutions, simplifying the requirements for initial application and periodic reporting for those companies intending to make a public offering of their securities in the new technology section.

Companies making an initial application for the technology section of BASE need only submit audited financial statements for the latest closed fiscal year (and not for the last three fiscal years as is the rule for all other companies). If the latest audited financial statements are older than 180 days, only a board of directors report covering the last fiscal quarter is required for updating the information, while companies applying for the regular sections are required to prepare a special-purpose audited financial statement.

Additionally, the reporting obligations regarding financial statements are limited to annual audited financials, semi-annual non-audited financials and quarterly board of directors reports. On the other hand, companies listed on all other sections of BASE are required to submit quarterly non-audited and annual audited financial statements.

Finally, the cover of the prospectus, whereby technology stocks are publicly offered, must display a conspicuous warning about the high risk to which the investment is subject, and about the lack of availability of quarterly financial statements.

The new listing section is expected to be operative within the first quarter of 2001.

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