May 23, 2017 / 8:23 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Shares of combined Argentina exchange debut in Buenos Aires

(Updates with stock trading)

By Walter Bianchi

BUENOS AIRES, May 23 (Reuters) - Argentina’s new stock exchange known as BYMA began trading on Tuesday at 100 pesos ($6.2) per share in hopes of giving international investors more options as Argentina’s economy opens.

U.S. and Brazilian funds have been buying stocks in Argentina in anticipation of BYMA, which combines stock exchange operators Mercado de Valores and the Bolsa de Comercio de Buenos Aires with other regional exchanges in Argentina, BYMA President Ernesto Allaria said.

Foreign investors have been seeking more opportunities to buy Argentine equities since market-friendly President Mauricio Macri took office in December 2015, especially with Congress expected to approve a new capital markets law in the coming months.

“The idea is that all the Argentine markets integrate with BYMA, the only market where all the instruments are traded,” Allaria said in an interview.

BYMA debuted at 100 pesos minutes before markets closed and ended at 150 pesos per share.

Allaria said Brazil’s BM&F Bovespa Exchange could buy a stake in BYMA of up to 20 percent, the maximum allowed under Argentine law.

“Bovespa said it would buy parts of the markets in Chile, Peru, Colombia, Mexico and Argentina. It already bought in four so Argentina is left,” he said in an interview.

$1 = 16.10 per dollar Additional reporting by Jorge Otaola; Writing by Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Sandra Maler

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