PLUS Stock Exchange (PLUS-SX), the UK-based small- and mid-cap-focused equity market, has announced three new initiatives designed to improve liquidity, visibility and issuer quality on its platform.
PLUS-SX has signed a memorandum of understanding with Interactive Investor, a supplier of online financial services, with the aim of simplifying access to growth stocks for private investors. Interactive Investor offers independent tools and information for over 1.7 million registered users.
The exchange is also planning to launch PLUS Analytix, a web-based service to increase the visibility and liquidity of PLUS-SX issuers, to counteract reduced levels of broker research for small- and mid-cap stocks.
PLUS Analytix is an analytical tool that will use information such as price/earnings ratios, performance against sector, historical data and trend analysis to support investment decisions. Interactive Investors will be the first to adopt the service and will incorporate PLUS Analytix analytical tools on to its website in the second half of this year.
“Interactive Investor's customers are active investors in small and fast growing companies,” said Tomas Carruthers, CEO of Interactive Investor. “Giving them access to PLUS-SX listed stocks will further enhance Interactive Investor's position as the website of choice for self directed investors and is part of our ongoing development plan to open up all markets to private investors.”
The third initiative is the PLUS-SX Mentor Programme, which provides PLUS-SX companies with access to market practitioners that will offer guidance on a pro bono basis. Royal Bank of Scotland, Buchanan Communications, an investor relations firm, accounting firm RSM Tenon and legal practice Hamlins have so far signed up to the initiative.
The mentors will advise pre-IPO and recently floated companies on how to achieve best practice in areas such as regulation, governance, investor communications, business growth, board building and financial planning.
“PLUS-SX is seeking actively to address some of the issues experienced by many smaller quoted companies and investors interested in the smaller quoted company marketplace, particularly in the context that many investors have been more cautious in recent years and need more information on which to base their investment decisions,” said PLUS Markets Group CEO Cyril Théret.