Nasdaq First North Is Now An SME Growth Market

On September 1, the equity segment of Nasdaq First North transitioned to the European Union’s ‘SME Growth Market’ status and changed name to Nasdaq First North Growth Market.

The equity segment of Nasdaq First North (Sweden, Finland and Denmark) are categorized as SME Growth Markets. SME Growth Markets represent a new subcategory of multilateral trading facilities (MTFs) introduced by MiFID II, and aim to facilitate access to capital for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

Nasdaq First North has been one of the leading European market places for SMEs for several consecutive years. By adding the SME Growth Market status to our equity segments of First North in Sweden, Finland and Denmark, we aim to give listed companies and prospects access to the regulatory alleviations created by the EU. The new status is also expected to increase the visibility and international profile of Nasdaq First North and attract more international investors to the market. Learn more about SME Growth Market here and in our Q&A below.

PROVEN GROWTH PLATFORM
75+
Nasdaq First North listed companies have grown and migrated to the Main Market since the First North segment was launched in 2006. We look forward to continued success as an SME Growth Market.
Small plant growing from tree
SME Growth Market
is an EU initiative aiming to give SMEs better access to public finance. Broadening access to market-based sources of financing for European companies at each stage of their development is at the heart of the Capital Markets Union (CMU).
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PROVEN GROWTH PLATFORM
75+
Nasdaq First North listed companies have grown and migrated to the Main Market since the First North segment was launched in 2006. We look forward to continued success as an SME Growth Market.

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As a part of MiFID II, the European Union is introducing a new marketplace category called SME Growth Markets. SME Growth Markets represents a new type of multilateral trading facilities (MTFs) and includes a set of regulatory alleviations aiming to give European SMEs better access to public equity finance.

Market operators like Nasdaq need to apply to become an SME Growth Market, and comply with the specific requirements outlined by the European Union. Market operators need approval from its local FSA, which Nasdaq now has received for its respective Nasdaq First North equity markets in Sweden, Denmark and Finland.

The long term ambition with SME Growth Markets is to reduce the administrative burden for SMEs and make it easier to both raise capital in the public market and to operate in a public environment. The current SME Growth Market regulation includes alleviations in two key legislations: the Market Abuse Regulation (MAR) and the Prospectus Regulation.

The alleviations within MAR aim to achieve a balance between reducing the administrative burden for SMEs, for example relating to insider lists and storage of information, while at the same time ensuring that market integrity and investor protection is maintained. Please note that the final text of the amendments in MAR have not been published yet; detailed information on alleviations covering registered growth markets will be available at later stage.

The proposed changes within the Prospectus Regulation will allow companies listed on SME Growth Markets to produce a simplified prospectus for secondary issuance, as long as they have been listed for 18 months or more. In addition, a simplified prospectus can also be produced when transferring to a regulated market (e.g. the Nasdaq Nordic Main Market), if the issuer has been listed on a growth market for two years or more. This can potentially lead to reduced workloads and significant cost-savings for those of you aiming to raise more money or switch to the Main Market.
Yes. The new name of the market segment, Nasdaq First North Growth Market, shall be used in all communication to the market starting from September 1, 2019.
In addition, issuers shall include direct links in the disclosure of financial reports, prospectuses and the Company Description to the page on the Issuer’s website where financial reports, prospectuses and the Company Description are available. The links shall be valid for at least 5 years (see sections 3.4 (a), 4.3 (a), 4.4 (b) and 4.6 (b) of the Nasdaq First North Growth Market Rulebook).
Yes. The new name of the market segment, Nasdaq First North Growth Market, shall be used in all communication to the market starting from September 1, 2019.
Apart from the reduced administrative burden outlined above, Nasdaq is confident that the new SME Growth Market status on Nasdaq First North will give our market an additional quality stamp as part of this EU framework. In addition, our aim is to make Nasdaq First North Growth Market more visible and recognized internationally, fostering an even greater interest from foreign investors and issuers to ensure a dynamic and more liquid marketplace.
Nasdaq is constantly working to further improve our markets in order to better serve both issuers and investors, and this is yet another example of what we do to achieve this. In addition to the specific alleviations outlined above, our aim is that Nasdaq First North’s SME Growth Market status will allow us to;
• Facilitate more SME listings
• Improve Nasdaq First North Growth Market’s international profile and visibility at a European level
• Attract more international issuers and investors, fostering a more dynamic and liquid marketplace
• Enable more trading activity across our Nordic Nasdaq First North Growth markets
Marketplaces applying for the SME Growth Market status must be operated as MTFs. In addition, at least 50 percent of its issuers should be SMEs as defined by the European Union, i.e. companies with a market cap of €200 Mn or less.
The equity segments of Nasdaq First North in Sweden, Finland, and Denmark will become SME Growth Markets. The equity segment of Nasdaq First North Iceland will not become an SME Growth Market at this point.
Nasdaq First North in Sweden, Finland, and Denmark will formally become SME Growth Markets on 1 September 2019. The market will thus change name to Nasdaq First North Growth Market on the same date.
No, the SME Growth Market implementation will have no impact on our listings fees.
Other European MTFs that have received the SME Growth Market status include LSE/AIM, Borsa Italiana, Zagreb Stock Exchange, the Bulgarian Stock Exchange and the Warsaw Stock Exchange Group (NewConnect).