Nasdaq Stockholm has for many years been one of the leading IPO hubs in Europe, in particular for small and medium sized companies (SMEs) in the technology sector. The success can to a large extent be explained by Sweden’s unique ecosystem surrounding companies looking to leverage the public market as a platform for growth.
Every successful economy needs a dynamic capital market, where one of the core pillars is an active IPO market. IPOs generate capital for new investments, R&D and job growth at a time when growing companies need it the most. IPOs enable companies to move from private to public funding while allowing early stage investors to recycle capital and fund new job creating growth companies.
Nasdaq operates exchanges in seven market across the Nordics and Baltics: Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Finland, Denmark, Iceland and Sweden. Each country operates two market places:
– The Main Market,our EU regulated market which is the home of world known companies like Ericsson, H&M and Volvo. A listing on the Main Market generally serves as evidence of a company adhering to the highest standards and as such provides a quality stamp.
– Nasdaq First North,our junior growth market specifically designed for fast growing SMEs. Nasdaq First North has more flexible listing requirements than the Main Market, and is thus a good starting point for younger companies looking to leverage the public market as a platform for growth.
Nasdaq Nordic, in particular Nasdaq First North in Stockholm, has seen strong inflows of new listings in recent years. Our Swedish market saw record years in 2015 and 2017, while our market in Finland showed an all-time record in 2018. In total, more than 390 companies have listed across our Nordic markets since 2015, raising around 20 billion EUR in growth capital. Perhaps more importantly, 38 companies have matured and switched from Nasdaq First North to our Main Market during these four years.
What explains this success? Apart from low interest rates and a beneficial macro-economic environment for new listings, Sweden really has a unique ecosystem of financial and legal advisors specifically supporting smaller companies looking to go public. On top of this, the country has a very strong culture of equity investments, where both larger professional investors as well as retail investors (individuals or households) are willing to take risk and invest in early stage companies. This creates a dynamic environment that allows smaller companies to tap the benefits of public equity finance.
A public listing can potentially add credibility, liquidity in the share and visibility that is difficult to find elsewhere. Many of our listed companies, primarily smaller ones in fast growing technology sectors, also highlight that the Nasdaq brand help them recruit skilled employees and further helps them in conversations with potential clients and partners both within and outside our Nordic borders.
A public listing is however not for everyone; companies do need to reach a certain level of maturity and of course comply with our specific listing requirements. In essence, they need to be able to manage the company in a public environment, where transparency and timely information disclosure is key.
I hope this introduction has given you a better overview of Nasdaq’s presence in Sweden. I encourage you to learn more on our website, and please do not hesitate to reach out to me in case you have any questions.
Senior Vice President, Head of European Listings, Nasdaq
Adam Kostyál is Senior Vice President and Head of EMEA listings at Nasdaq. In this role, Adam oversees the more than 1000 companies listed across Nasdaq’ Nordic and Baltic exchanges, as well as European companies that are either primary or dual listed at Nasdaq in the USA. Adam has been with Nasdaq for more than 15 years, and in his current role since 2012.
Peronal på Nasdaq Adam Kostyál foto : Rickard Kilström
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