99.9% of the Baltic companies are small and medium-sized enterprises. Does this mean that 99.9% of the Baltic companies are too small to tap the public capital markets? It definitely does not mean that!
This is where the growth market for small and medium-sized enterprises – First North – comes into play.
First North is the light version of the stock exchange. The company is publicly traded, but the requirements are significantly less stringent than for a company listed on the regulated market.
While the main list of the stock exchange is intended for somewhat more mature companies, the small brother of the stock exchange – the First North market – is for the companies of the earlier phase: younger, smaller, fast-growing. First North has fewer rules and requirements than the main market, but at the same time it gives the company essentially all the advantages of being a public company: in addition to raising money, the listing also gives a stock exchange quality mark to the company.
What does the “stock exchange quality mark” exactly mean? A simple example: Many Baltic small and medium-sized enterprises are exporters. Every exporter needs partners in foreign markets. A good reference is needed to find cooperation partners and reach a transaction with them. Being listed on the stock exchange is one of the best references a company can have.
Many CEOs of the companies listed on the Nasdaq Baltic exchanges have said that the fact of being on the stock exchange in itself has helped them to get their feet in foreign markets and find good partners. Not to mention that a publicly traded company will become much better known in their home region. This kind of visibility and recognition is not available in any other marketplace.
Raising money and trading in securities on First North market is also faster and cheaper for the company: depending on whether the company places shares or bonds on the market, the cost for applying would be 1500-3000 euros and the annual administrative cost would be 1000-3000 euros.
Considering the potential added value of being listed on the stock exchange and the cost stated above, then … how does it seem? Could your company be a a publicly traded company?
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