Deutsche Boerse CEO supports DAX expansion from 30 to 40 companies

BERLIN, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) -- Germany's leading DAX index could be expanded from 30 to 40 companies, stock exchange operator Deutsche Boerse announced on Monday.

"It is no secret that I personally would welcome the expansion of the DAX 30 to a DAX 40," Theodor Weimer, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Deutsche Boerse, said in a statement.

The proposed reform also included decreasing the number of companies listed in the second tier index MDAX from 60 to 50 while the tier three SDAX would continue to include 70 titles, according to Deutsche Boerse.

In a market consultation on the reform that would be conducted over the next four weeks, participants could also give their opinion about extended quality criteria such as "demonstrable profitability" of the companies listed in the DAX index, according to Deutsche Boerse.

"I am sure that the further development of the criteria will help the German capital market to achieve further quality," added Weimer.

In a prominent case that attracted international attention, German payment provider Wirecard, which had been listed in the DAX just two years ago, filed for insolvency in June after its falsified balance sheet had been uncovered, leaving a 1.9 billion euro (2.2 billion U.S. dollars) gap in its books.

However, due to DAX regulations, insolvent Wirecard remained in the German top index for weeks. In the wake of one of the largest accounting scandals in German history, Deutsche Boerse announced plans to reform the DAX membership rules.

Timely submission of quarterly reports for the DAX index and an audited annual report for all selection indices with the possibility of sanctions, up to exclusion from the index in case of non-compliance, were also surveyed as extended criteria, according to Deutsche Boerse.

The market consultation was launched with the aim of "introducing stricter criteria" for the selection of index constituents and their "alignment with international index standards," a Deutsche Boerse spokesperson told Xinhua on Monday and added that "transparency, predictability and objectivity" of the DAX indices were to be maintained.

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