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By Lutgart Berghe

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This less attractive market environment induced a substantial lower reliance on the stock market for new capital funding and even led to de-listings. This is not taken into consideration in our analysis. However, this omission does not influence the final conclusions on convergence. From another study, it becomes clear that the success story in Greece was even more pronounced. The ratio market capitalisation to GDP soared from 15% in 1995 to 167% at the end of 1999. For a more detailed analysis of the figures, see Mertzanis (2000).

Electronic commerce in European bonds will be offered by one major platform, after a merger of BondVision and BondClick54. 2 The internet breaks down geographic barriers and creates many innovations New Internet services created the possibility of trading securities in a fast and cheap way. Emerging Internet based rivals of the traditional exchanges appeared, such as Tradepoint, EuroMTS and other Electronic Communications Networks (ECN). Tradepoint is an electronic stock exchange, based in London and operating 51 52 53 54 Mampaey (12 September 2001).

In reality however, business life is not as prescribed in the ideal world. The analysis of Van Hulle (1997) clearly demonstrates a case where corporate governance structures often prevent the realisation of business strategies. She finds that Belgian firms seem to lack the right corporate governance apparatus to finance their growth strategies. The Dutch coalition model, however, stimulates far more growth than the Belgian reference shareholder model. The main reason is that Dutch firms rely mainly on expected investment returns while Belgian firms have to finance their growth with internally generated cash flow.

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