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Special Event

Millennium 2000: Y2K-Free Stock Exchange Opens in Australia

Aired January 3, 2000 - 6:09 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

JOIE CHEN, CNN ANCHOR: And in Australia, it's now Tuesday, the first full day of trading there for the new millennium as well. The stock market opened just this hour.

CNN's Michael Holmes joins us from the Australian Stock Exchange in Sydney with the latest.

Good morning, Michael.

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Joie.

Welcome to Sydney and the Australian Stock Exchange, where the sun is shining on a very wet summer here in Sydney. No reason the sun won't shine on the stock exchange today, either. It is up and running. Things seem to be going very smoothly.

Joining me now is the deputy CEO of the Australian Stock Exchange.

Angus Richards, how are things running? How do you expect them to run?

ANGUS RICHARDS, DEPUTY CEO, AUSTRALIAN STOCK EXCHANGE: Well, Michael, we expect that they will run quite smoothly today. A lot of effort has gone into testing to ensure we don't have any Y2K problems. That's been true around the industry as well, not just the stock exchange.

HOLMES: Australia spent $12 billion dollars on it, some $8 million here at the stock exchange. What sort of backups do you have?

RICHARDS: We have a full backup site. We have one site here in the city in this building and another site in the suburbs.

HOLMES: So you're ready, but you hope you won't have to use it?

RICHARDS: We won't have to use it.

HOLMES: Australia, of course, affected by the Asian markets. There have been some minor glitches in some areas there. What sort of flow-on do you see from those markets?

RICHARDS: I don't see any immediate flow-on to Australia. I think the Australian market will stand on its own feet today, and I fully expect it to perform, in a technical sense, quite adequately.

HOLMES: Some analysts around the world are saying today isn't necessarily the day, it's three, four, five, days from now. Is that your attitude, or do you think if we get through today the Australian Stock Exchange is pretty much home?

RICHARDS: I think we're pretty much home if we get through today. The next day, from our point of view, of significance will be the 29th of February, this being one of the one-in-400 Leap Years, and some of the bugs we found in our system were related to that.

HOLMES: Australians has very enthusiastic shareholders, and we'll leave it there.

Things running very smoothly here, as you heard, at the Australian Stock Exchange. The ticker is running, shares being bought and sold very easily.

In Sydney, at the Australian Stock Exchange, I'm Michael Holmes reporting.

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