National Stock Exchanges
A common set of basic rules apply for applications to list on Regulated Markets across the EU. These rules include:
- preparing a prospectus for approval by a National Regulator;
- applying the rules of disclosure; and
- financial reporting.
However, additional requirements to list on a Regulated Market may vary from one Member State to another. In addition, requirements to list on a Multilateral Trading Facility may vary from one market to another in the same Member State.
Each Stock Exchange has a body of rules to regulate its organisation and structure. The Regulatory Bodies are, in general, National Financial Supervisory Authorities or National Regulators.
Even if different in each Member State, all regulations have common objectives to:
- strengthen market integrity and protect investors;
- prevent fraud or manipulative practices; and
- ensure a common framework for listed companies for:
- financial compliance;
- corporate governance;
- listing standards; etc.
Moreover, markets in Europe have to operate within the framework of EU legislation, such as the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, which sets out rules for Regulated Markets and Multilateral Trading Facilities.
- What happens if circumstances change after the listing?
- Can your company’s listed status be changed?
Your company may wish to delist in order to move to another exchange, or by going private again.
Or you may be delisted by your Stock Exchange operator if you do not comply with the ongoing obligations and standards set by EU regulation or the relevant Stock Exchange operator.
The latter are intended to reassure investors that your company is credible in the medium-long-term and usually cover:
- market capitalisation,
- free float of shares (on average at least 10%),
- a minimum nominal value per share, and
- annual listing fees.
The rules for delisting vary from country to country but in some cases involve either shareholder approval at a general meeting or arise from the application of takeover rules.
List of National Organisations representing listed companies in the European Union
There are a number of organisations throughout the EU which represent the interests of listed companies. These organisations can help you with further information and practical advice about being a listed company in their member state.
There is also a body representing the issuers at European level: European Issuers. You can become a member of both your National Organisation and the European Issuers.
Many exchanges in Europe are organised in the Federation of European Securities Exchanges (FESE), representing the interests of exchanges. Contact FESE to know more.
Some practical advice – Testimonials from listed companies
“Our advice for a small company preparing to go public is to weigh up the pros and cons very well, provide investors with a clear equity story and do not underestimate the time required, to keep up the communication with investors and the press, after the IPO.”
Dr. Thomas Berger, Chief Executive at KTG Energie AG, a German company specialised in the production of green energy, listed on the Entry Standard (Multilateral Trading Facility) of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.
“Going public is a stimulus to development for an enterprise. This brings visibility and allows it to grow faster.
First of all, you must have a clear strategy in the medium-long term for the financing needs.
Secondly, for a small enterprise, if the managers do not have experience in listing a company, it is necessary to appoint external advisers (bankers, attorneys, lawyers, auditors, communication agency) or to hire someone who already has such an experience. Having someone in-house with this experience helps both to prepare and organize the IPO, but also to lead the company after the introduction on the market."
Michel Finance, Chief Executive at Theradig, French company operating in the field of biotechnology, listed on France – NYSE Alternext Paris.
“Prepare well in advance and find a good team with clear responsibilities. Decide well in advance who is responsible for external communication and have a dedicated team and process for crisis management. When the machine is working, just wait for the right timing.”
Benjamin Nordin, Investor Relations Officer & Head of Business Analysis at Karolinska Development, Swedish company operating in the Health Care sector, listed on NASDAQ OMX Stockholm.