Transitional Economies: Banking, Finance, Institutions

By Yelena Kalyuzhnova; Michael Taylor | Go to book overview

4
Development of Capital Markets, Stock Exchanges and Securities Regulation in Transition Economies

Joseph J.Norton and Douglas W.Arner


Introduction

Since 1989, the formerly centrally planned economies of Central and Eastern Europe and the CIS (‘transition economies’) have made substantial progress in the process of transition from centrally planned economies to market economies. This transformation, however, has progressed at different rates and along different paths across the region. Most importantly, while the results have been impressive so far, much remains to be done before these countries are fully integrated into the international financial system. 1

As part of the transition process, most transition economies have established, or are in the process of establishing, a basic legal framework for the operation of securities markets and stock exchanges in the context of creating functioning capital markets. Across the region, however, the financial sector remains fragile, and securities markets continue to be thin and volatile. Moreover, problems of insider dominance of companies with traded stock, corruption and even fraud, which in the mature Western economies have been largely contained, are widespread. Insider dealing, lack of transparency in shareholdings and trades, concentrated ownership, often in the hands of banks and corporate insiders, with only a small proportion of the stock actually traded, price manipulation, problems in corporate governance and ownership structures, and lack of any active market for corporate control are all endemic. Although historically many of these problems have also been prevalent in Western European equity markets, there the strength of insider lenders, that is, banks sitting on the board of enterprises, has

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