SEE Link, a regional platform for trading in securities established by the Bulgarian, Croatian and Macedonian stock exchanges, has become fully operational, the Zagreb Stock Exchange said in a statement on Tuesday.

The project was launched with the aim of creating regional infrastructure for trading in securities listed on the Zagreb, Macedonian and Bulgarian stock exchanges. In order to give the project a necessary legal framework, in 2014 the three bourses established a joint company with equal equity stakes, which is based in Skopje.

The platform is supported by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which provided a grant of 540,000 euros to help set up an order routing system. The participating stock exchanges contributed 80,000 euros each for the project.

SEE Link will help integrate regional capital markets, which have a combined equity market capitalisation of about USD 30 billion in nearly 400 securities listed on the three bourses. It aims to increase liquidity and improve access for investors and local brokers, according to the statement.

Two blue chip indices called SEE LinX and SEE LinX EWI will be introduced on 1 April 2016 and are expected to increase the visibility of the regional markets. The indices will comprise the 10 most liquid regional companies listed on the three participating stock exchanges: five from Croatia, three from Bulgaria and two from Macedonia.

Twenty-two stock exchange members from Bulgaria, Croatia and Macedonia are expected to connect to the platform, and a total of 387 securities will be available for trading.

The Belgrade and Ljubljana stock exchanges joined SEE Link in mid-February during the EBRD's Western Balkans Investment Summit in London.

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