European SME venue plans mid-2013 launch
A venue for European small- and medium-sized (SME) listings is expected to launch before June next year, following amendments to an initial proposal following a public consultation.
The pan-European venue, titled Entrepreneurial Exchange and
run by market operator NYSE Euronext, is designed to facilitate capital raising by smaller companies away from venues dominated by
The venue would operate according to NYSE Euronext’s
federated model in all countries the exchange operator has a market, which comprises France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Portugal.
The proposals put forward by the committee would
bring together companies currently listed on segments B and C of NYSE
Euronext's main platform and its Alternext platform, which currently serves
SMEs. Altering primary national indices would be avoided by listing companies
on both NYSE Euronext and Entrepreneurial Exchange.
The conclusions of the consultation period called for an
official decision to proceed to be made before the end of the year, with a
provisional opening date for the exchange before summer 2013.
“We are very pleased to have been the originator of the SPC and we will now take the time needed to analyze the report and propose suitable solutions working with all the actors of our financial market places. Our aim is to communicate our proposed pan-European strategy within the coming weeks," said Dominique Cerutti, president and deputy CEO of NYSE Euronext.
The SME Strategic Planning Committee, began the public consultation on July 3, hearing
from more than 200 industry participants, and urged decision-makers for a rapid
launch of the venue.
Fabrice Demarigny, committee chairman said the exchange
would help smaller-sized businesses in Europe when they needed it most.
“It offers a critical solution to the long-term financing
requirements of SMEs, who need it to come through the crisis and pave the way
for a return to growth,” Demarigny said, adding that governments, tax
authorities and regulators must all help push for the exchange if it was to reach
its intended goals.
“Our conclusions call for all stakeholders in the stock
market ecosystem to embrace these recommendations and for an official decision
creating the Entrepreneurial Exchange to be taken quickly,” Demarigny said.
The reluctance of many large banks to lend,
particularly outside of their domestic markets, and the economic uncertainty
fuelled by the euro-zone debt crisis have created an environment where SMEs
struggle to thrive, while they can be a strong source of growth for economies