LONDON Dec 5 NYSE Euronext plans to
launch a European stock market for smaller firms next year, as
exchange groups battle to attract companies which have seen bank
funding dry up due to the financial crisis.
The world's largest stock market said on Wednesday it would
combine the smaller listed firms on its Euronext markets with
those listed on its junior market Alternext "to achieve critical
NYSE, which operates stock and futures exchanges in the
United States and Europe, said the new exchange, which has not
yet been named, will launch in "the middle of 2013", according
to a spokeswoman.
Dominique Cerutti, the deputy chief executive of NYSE
Euronext, said in an emailed statement the project showed the
firm's commitment "to revitalising market financing for small
and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)".
The announcement followed recommendations in September by a
NYSE-appointed committee to look at ways the exchange could
support smaller listed companies.
It also marks the latest move by a European exchange to help
smaller firms access much-needed investment capital.
The London Stock Exchange Group, which runs the
Alternative Investment Market (AIM), said in September it was
working on a "launch pad" for European high-growth businesses
seeking a full London listing.
ICAP, the European futures broker, in June bought
PLUS Markets, a struggling British exchange, and pledged
to overhaul the platform to boost investment for its 133 small
and mid-sized listed firms.
"Governments and competent European and national authorities
also have an essential role to play in creating a more efficient
legislative, regulatory, fiscal and fee framework, above and
beyond new infrastructure," said Cerutti.
British small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) received a
potential boost on Wednesday when finance minister George
Osborne launched a review of investing in these firms.
"We will consult on allowing investment in SME equity
markets like AIM to be held directly in stocks and shares
Individual Savings Accounts, to encourage investment in growing
businesses," Osborne said in an update on the government's
economic policy, referring to tax-free savings accounts.
The LSE, which owns AIM, welcomed the plan.
"This is good news for small businesses up and down the
country," said Xavier Rolet, the chief executive of the British