LONDON (Reuters) - British brokerage LXM Group has registered for trading with the Athens Stock Exchange, joining a handful of foreign banks in what it described on Thursday as a statement of confidence in the Greek economy.
Greece is gradually recovering from a deep recession that shrank its economy by a quarter and drove unemployment to record highs, and hopes are rising that it will be able to emerge successfully from years of bailouts.
"The Greek economy is reaching a crucial turning point," said Petros Mylonas, head of southern Europe at LXM. "With recent robust fiscal performance, improving growth dynamics and strong momentum on the reform front, Greece is an exciting market to be in."
The move will allow LXM to carry out stock transactions directly without going through a local brokerage.
Seven foreign entities - including UBS, Bank of America, Citigroup and Deutsche Bank - are now registered for trading with the exchange.
The Athens Stock Exchange index is down 86 percent from a pre-financial crisis peak in 2007. It has partially recovered from a low of around 421 in February 2016 and closed at 740.20 on Thursday.
(Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg)