The Warsaw stock exchange (WSE), central Europe's leading market, said Thursday it wanted to merge with the Vienna-based CEE Stock Exchange Group (CEESEG) by the end of the year. "We are waiting for a green light from our shareholders for a regional fusion with the CEESEG group," WSE chairman Adam Maciejewski told reporters. "We are ready for the next step of the project. I hope we can close the deal by the year's end." Maciejewski declined to reveal further details of the potential transaction, which would create central Europe's largest single financial services marketplace. The plan is part of the WSE's 2014-2020 development strategy to secure its "dominant position in central Europe and an important position in Europe overall". There are 451 companies quoted on the Warsaw exchange, with a market capitalisation of 857 billion zloty (206 billion euros, $280 billion) in total, according to the latest figures on the WSE website. Headquartered in Vienna, the CEESEG consists of the stock exchanges in Vienna, Ljubljana, Prague and Budapest. Last year its total capitalisation was 128 billion euros.