t Spain has four approved stock markets in Madrid, Bilbao, Barcelona and Valencia which, despite speculation earlier this year that they could integrate on the German model, continue as seperate structures.

t There are strong links, however, with each exchange holding 25% ownership of the Sociedad de Bolsas which operates the market's electronic trading system.

t The Bolsa de Madrid, the largest exchange, is the only international exchange with full membership of the European, International and Latin American Federations of Stock Markets. It has 41 brokers and broker-dealers.

t Eleven companies were newly listed on the exchange last year including Sol Melia and Telepizza. The total nominal capital listed including closed and open ended investment companies was Pta30,000m. Sixteen companies delisted with 361 listed in total.

t The number of shares available to investors rose by 95,939,084 last year through privatisations and public offerings. This includes the sale of government shares in Repsol and Argentaria.

t The Madrid exchange is currently making a pitch to small-cap companies to list, with bourse chairman Antonio Zoido targetting 204 Spanish food, re-tail and service companies as part of the Proyecto Empresa (corporate project).

t Market supervision is provided by the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) covering the securities markets and the activity of all individuals and companies involved.

t There are two trading systems the traditional open outcry system and the dominant electronic system known as SIBE (Spanish Stock Market Interconnection System).

t SIBE operates on the basis of continuous trading for seven hours (10am to 5pm) for proposals and trades and half an hour for adjusting positions (9.30-10.00) when proposals can be introduced but no trades executed.

t There are two sub markets: principal trading - this handled more than 85% of trading in 1996 - and special operations.

t Special operations is a submarket operating between 5pm and 8pm for trading blocks of shares where the counterparties are already agreed.

t The General Index reflects the increase or decline in share prices and is corrected for dividends and capital increases.

t The main Spanish indices are the Madrid General Index, the Total Index and the Ibex-35.

t The Total Index measures overall profitability of shares based on the price performance, capital increases and dividends re-invested.

t The Ibex-35 comprises the 35 most liquid shares. The index is not corrected for dividends.

t The settlement system is managed exclusively by the clearing and settlement service (SCL), with Bolsa de Madrid as major shareholder.

t SCL also serves as a central registry for the book entry system which it jointly manages with the market participants.

t It also offers stock lending facilities with the SCL charging Pta780 for each transaction. The number of shares loaned rose to 101% to Pta444m by the end of 1996.

t The electronic system also covers fixed income trading covering public debt recorded in the Bank of Spain's book entry system (government debt, some regional governments and some state organisations) as well as debt issued by other private, public or semi-public companies.

t Public debt is traded between 9am and 1pm with other securities traded between 9am and 2pm.

t There are two forms of trading: multi-lateral trading: block trading and markets of orders.

t The Meff Sociedad Holding de Productos Derivados was created in 1991 grouping the two bodies providing futures and options in Spain, the Mad-rid-based Meff Renta Variable (equities) and the Barcelona-based Meff Renta Fija (fixed income). Both provide their own clearing and settlement. The Bolsa de Madrid is Meff's largest shareholder.

t Meff Renta Variable trades futures on the Ibex-35, options on the Ibex-35 and options on shares with the underlying asset 100 ordinary shares of 10 major companies.

t The Meff Renta Fija trades futures and options contracts on three-year bonds, 10-year bonds, and on the 90-day Mibor (where the underlying asset is the 90-day interbank deposit rate) and a 360-day Mibor future (where the underlying asset is 360 interbank deposit rate).