NYSE Euronext opens SME market in Netherlands
NYSE Euronext has launched EnterNext, a market for small- and medium-sized companies, in the Netherlands for the first time – a move the exchange says will help local SMEs to get the financing they need.
“EnterNext will make every effort to offer companies optimal visibility and access to investors, and to get businesses to use the stock exchange more once listed,” said the exchange in an official statement.
EnterNext originally launched in May with a mission to provide financing for SMEs in all NYSE Euronext markets (Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, Lisbon), but is only now making its debut in the Netherlands. The new market focuses on companies listed in NYSE Euronext countries and has a market capitalisation of less than €1 billion. For the Dutch market, it covers 77 listed companies with a joint market cap of €19.5 billion.
SMEs have struggled to raise finance in recent years, as cash-strapped banks have cut back on their lending to smaller firms. At the same time, some industry observers have commented that the tick sizes and advanced trading strategies typically found on many major lit exchanges may not necessarily be ideally suited to small and mid-size stocks.
These difficulties have led to calls for new SME markets in recent years, with initiatives such as the ‘Alpine’ Stock Exchange announced one year ago attempting to build an alternative solution. The launch of EnterNext by NYSE Euronext marks a serious attempt to appeal to SME business by building a dedicated new market.
The main areas of focus for the new market in the Netherlands will be:
- Defining and promoting new services and financing possibilities, such as the SME Bond.
- Actively seeking out companies in the region and acquainting them with the exchange as an alternative source of financing
- Building and maintaining daily relations with local issuers and candidates for public offerings
- Promoting small and medium-sized businesses to investors as an attractive asset class
- Developing a national marketing strategy
“The Dutch business community, both listed and unlisted, needs extra help and assistance to meet its financing needs,” said Cees Vermaas, chairman and chief executive of NYSE Euronext Amsterdam. “In our capacity as the hub of the capital market, we are happy to take the initiative via EnterNext, but we also ask the other concerned parties, such as government, regulators and market parties, to take responsibility and participate directly. We need to work together to help small and medium-sized companies grow.”
In total, EnterNext lists 750 companies across Europe.