SIX to launch new SME segment

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Subject to regulatory approval, the Swiss stock exchange is to launch Sparks, a new equity segment dedicated to Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs). 

These companies will benefit from enhanced visibility, a more relevant peer group and more effective price formation in their equity securities while benefitting from all the well-known advantages of being a listed company on the Swiss stock exchange.
 
Interest from SMEs in the unique benefits of public capital markets has been on the rise for a number of years. Venture-capital investments alone have increased five-fold in Switzerland over the past decade, enabling more entrepreneurs to test and develop their product and service ideas with a view to growing their businesses. The broader impact of such investment growth has been a rise in the number of SMEs that have matured to the point of taking the next step in their development to go public.
 
Sparks, a dedicated new equity segment on the Swiss stock exchange, will provide  a key piece in addressing this need of SMEs and their investors for a dedicated, tailored, regulated exchange venue. In establishing and growing a well-functioning ecosystem for raising public capital the continual and concerted efforts of the broader Swiss financial centre will also be key.
 
According to Valeria Ceccarelli, Head Primary Markets, SIX Swiss Exchange: “SMEs in Switzerland – as in many countries – are a powerful economic engine. Our challenge has been to ensure that we can offer entrepreneurs a platform that can help them efficiently access capital, enhance their visibility, strengthen their credibility, and provide the levels of transparency and scrutiny that maximise investor interest. With Sparks, we will be able to achieve the right balance of all of these elements as well as to contribute meaningfully to the growth of SMEs and, more broadly, to that of the Swiss economy.”