Nasdaq First North Granted SME Growth Market Status
- New EU status aims to facilitate access to capital for SMEs and is expected to strengthen the international profile of Nasdaq First North
- The transition will become effective on September 1, 2019, and the equity segment will then be referred to as Nasdaq First North Growth Market
Nasdaq announced that the equity segment of Nasdaq First North in Sweden, Denmark and Finland has been granted the European Union’s ‘SME Growth Market’ status. SME Growth Markets are a new subcategory of multilateral trading facilities (MTFs) introduced by MiFID II, and aim to facilitate access to capital for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
“SMEs represent the vast majority of all companies across the European economy and are critical to job creation and growth,” said Bjørn Sibbern, EVP and President of European Markets, Nasdaq. “Maintaining a strong and dynamic market place for companies and investors while safeguarding market integrity is one of Nasdaq’s top priorities, and we are confident that the SME Growth Market status will make Nasdaq First North an even better platform for European SMEs looking to raise capital.”
The SME Growth Market initiative aims to establish a pan-European regulatory standard for market operators, with certain regulatory alleviations aimed at giving European SMEs more efficient access to the public market. Market operators applying to become an SME Growth Market must be operated as MTFs, where at least 50 percent of the issuers should be SMEs as defined by the European Union (i.e. companies with a market cap of <€200 m). Nasdaq First North’s transition to SME Growth Market will become effective on September 1, 2019, and the equity segment of the market in Sweden, Denmark and Finland will then be referred to as Nasdaq First North Growth Market.
“Nasdaq First North continues to see a strong interest from issuers, advisors and investors across Europe,” said Adam Kostyál, SVP and Head of EMEA Listings, Nasdaq. “As we continue to further develop Nasdaq First North to better serve both issuers and investors, we are excited about this significant step in our efforts to strengthen the profile of our market and maintain Nasdaq’s position as the leading listing hub for growth companies in Europe.”
Nasdaq First North has been one of the top European market places for SMEs for several consecutive years, with 280 new listings (capital raised: 2.9 billion EUR) since 2015. By adding the SME Growth Market status to the equity segments of Nasdaq First North in Sweden, Finland and Denmark, Nasdaq gives listed companies access to the regulatory alleviations created by the EU. The new status is also expected to increase the visibility and international profile of Nasdaq First North and attract more international investors to the market.
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