In connection with the integration of the securities exchanges within the Nordic and Baltic regions, the Helsinki Stock Exchange (OMX) began applying the Norex member rules as of September 27 2004. At this date, the Helsinki Stock Exchange, as well as the Tallin and Riga stock exchanges, began using the same electronic trading system as the Stockholm Stock Exchange (Saxess) and the trading hours of the equity and derivatives markets of the Helsinki Stock Exchange and Stockholm Stock Exchange were harmonized.
The Norex member rules have been developed in cooperation with the Norex alliance, which includes the stock exchanges in Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Denmark, Norway and Iceland. The Norex member rules are a harmonization of the trading rules of each of the Norex exchanges and they apply to trading in equity and debt instruments, as well as their combinations.
The Norex member rules differ from the previously applied trading rules of the Helsinki Stock Exchange as regards, for instance, the size limits applicable for block trades. Under the Norex member rules, the size limit applicable to block trades in shares on the Helsinki Stock Exchange is a minimum of 250 round lots or in any case at least €500,000 ($611,687). Under the previous rules, to qualify as a block trade on the Helsinki Stock Exchange, the value of the transaction had to be €10 million or at least €1 million, in which case the number of shares traded had to represent at least 2% of the total number of the shares of the same class.
As a further step in the harmonization, it is expected that the rules and regulations of the Helsinki Stock Exchange on, among others, disclosure obligations, insider dealing and stabilization will be amended after the implementation of the Market Abuse Directive in Finland, which is expected to take effect in October 2004.
Tarja Wist and Nina Rosenlew