JERUSALEM, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Israel may soon allow major international companies to be cross-listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange as part of a broader effort to improve slumping trade volumes.
The initiative passed its main hurdle on Tuesday when parliament's finance committee approved a bill to let the exchange register shares from up to 50 foreign-listed companies, each with at least a $50 billion value, on a new, separate trading platform.
The Finance Ministry called it a "non-voluntary cross-listing" system - the company itself need not agree or be involved at all in the process. Many of Israeli regulatory requirements will not apply.
Israel already allows dual listing, which is a stricter process that results in shares trading on the main exchange.
"The amendment is meant to diversify the investment options on the stock exchange and increase interest in it," Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said.
More than 200 companies have been de-listed in Tel Aviv over the past decade and trade volumes have slumped, averaging 1.27 billion shekels ($343 million) in 2016, down from 1.45 billion in 2015 and 2 billion a day in 2010.
The bill requires a final parliamentary vote. (Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch, editing by Larry King)