Exchange group NYSE Euronext has introduced measures to make it easier for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to access capital markets and improve the visibility and liquidity of mid-sized companies listed on its European market.
The exchange is setting up a strategic planning committee that will give SMEs greater say in market governance across the B and C sections of its regulated market – which are geared toward the listing of small and medium sized companies – and its NYSE Alternext platform, which is dedicated to SMEs.
Composed of issuers, intermediaries and other key stakeholders, the planning committee is due to be in place by the end of 2011. Its aim will be to help the NYSE board of directors find ways to develop the market for SMEs.
“SMEs create value and jobs,” said Dominique Cerutti, president and deputy CEO at NYSE Euronext. “They are a driving force in economic development in the Eurozone, and represent around 80% of companies listed with us – which places them at the heart of our business and makes them a strategic priority.”
NYSE Euronext is also developing a new pan-European service for the listing, placement and trading of corporate bonds, designed specifically for SMEs, which will attempt to boost SMEs’ visibility and diversify their sources of financing.
In addition, NYSE Euronext has been working to encourage and help more companies to list, holding some 191 dedicated events in France in the last 18 months. The exchange has also expanded its dedicated sales force for SMEs to help build more regional initiatives.
The company also pointed to its merger with Deutsche Börse as a means of raising the profile of French SMEs with investors already active in the German market, giving them access to more liquidity and a larger investor base.
“Going public allows companies to diversify their resources and consolidate their capital more easily to finance growth,” said Cerutti. “At NYSE Euronext, we promote the benefits of listing and we hope to rally the full range of stakeholders to achieve results in keeping with SMEs’ needs.”
NYSE Euronext launched its NYSE Alternext market for SMEs in 2004. Beginning in France, the platform was subsequently expanded and adapted to Belgium, the Netherlands and Portugal. Its market capitalisation currently stands €5.9 billion, according to NYSE Euronext figures.
Separately, NYSE Euronext released its overall Q3 2011 financial results. The company reported net revenue of US$704 million, up 18% versus the same period last year. Operating income was US$288 million, up 60% versus the same period a year ago. The company also noted US$29 million in merger expenses in Q3 2011, of which US$19 million were related to the merger with Deutsche Börse.