Stockholm is the leader

The Nasdaq Nordic exchanges have lately outperformed all European markets. What have been the drivers for this success?

With more listings, the Nasdaq Nordic exchange has outperformed all European markets since 2016. What are the drivers for this success?

Chart listings EU exchange

There is a silent revolution in the European listing space. And the pillars of this slow-building trend are actually threefold: Nasdaq technology and infrastructure, the attractiveness of Nordic economic space and strong, recurring liquidity in the Nasdaq Nordic markets.

The Nordic market is blessed with a strong, loyal retail involvement in equities. This means that there is recurring and healthy liquidity in even micro and small cap companies. The big institutional players see a business case in operating in these region's segments. Beside having around 60 pct. of investors from outside the Nordic region, Sweden has a strong backbone of retail and institutional investors supporting all segments – from First North companies to the global players in the large-cap segment.

Nasdaq in the Nordics actually consists of different markets each contributing with their specific flavour. The common denominator is strong retail involvement, big pension fund investors, strong corporate governance and well-functioning economies. But it is fair to say that Nasdaq Stockholm is by far the cornerstone in attracting companies.

Adam Kostyál, Head of European Listings, says it's a tremendous milestone to have surpassed LSE’s AIM growth market.

AIM was the model on which Nasdaq built the First North market. It is a tremendous milestone to have become a market leader. One of the success drivers of First North and the main differentiator to AIM is that First North is a stepping stone for SMEs. Today entrepreneurs are coming to the market to grow their business, learn how to communicate and to float its stock. Later First North listed companies want to move onto the main market of the Nordic exchanges. This dynamic is attracting many SMEs and growth companies from outside the Nordic countries. The Marketing Group from Singapore and the UK is a recent example.

MTF market size

Brexit will certainly offer Stockholm more advantages than challenges. Stockholm is already leading the European space and with the stability, transparency and affluence of the Nordic economies, the Nasdaq Nordic markets will constitute a strong alternative that will be hard to ignore for the European growth companies. Companies aiming for a market will find that Nasdaq has an obvious advantage.

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Published 25 February 2019

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