SME GROWTH MARKETS
To complement various recent EU initiatives and to assist small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) in obtaining financing, MiFID II will create a new subcategory of markets known as SME growth markets (SME-GM).
This will hopefully mean bigger opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises to get funding by the SME Growth Market considerations that is a part of the MiFID II.
"Small and medium-sized enterprise" for the purposes of the Directive means a company that has had an average market capitalization of less than EUR 100 million on the basis of end-year quotes for the previous three calendar years.
An operator of such a market (which is usually operated as an MTF) could choose to apply to have the MTF also registered as an SME growth market if it meets certain criteria. In reality it would mean that Nasdaq First North market could become an SME Growth Market if Nasdaq finds that it will bring value for our customers to apply for this status.
The registration of these markets would raise visibility and profile and help lead to common pan-European regulatory standards for such markets that are tailored to take into account the needs of issuers and investors in these markets while maintaining existing high levels of investor protection.
Nasdaq has been active in the pre-work for this market and has submitted comments to the framework, and we are still close to the process now that MiFID II has been postponed until 2018.
Nasdaq First North finds it important that the requirements to be met by a SME-GM maintain a high level of investor protection to promote investor confidence while minimising the administrative burdens for issuers on the market.
Nasdaq wishes to maintain as much flexibility for the operator of an SME-GM as possible, so it will be able to tailor-make these markets to local best practice and at the same time gain a wider reach in Europe.
SME markets are usually local markets, but we see more cross border transactions in the markets and our understanding is that the cross border activity will only increase in the future.
In reality, the SME-Growth Market as proposed at the moment by the EU seems very similar to the Nasdaq First North markets in the Nordic. The most important difference is the “seal of approval” as a growth market, but all stakeholders are aware of the need for a stronger funding market for small and medium-sized enterprises in Europe.
To become an SME-GM at least 50% of the issuers whose financial instruments are admitted to trading on the MTF registered as a SME-GM are small and medium sized enterprises with an average market capitalization of less than EUR 200 million.
SME-GM considerations for Nasdaq First North are a part of our general Nasdaq First North development that is going on continuously, yet no final decisions have been made yet.
Members can reach out to their Key Account Managers directly and or contact the MiFID II implementation project, via listing.MiFID2@nasdaq.com.
Updates will be published on this site and will contain news on service offerings and MiFID II/MiFIR implementation details as they become available.