SIX is launching a new equity segment for SMEs in the form of Sparks, details of which can be found in a press release. In so doing, the Swiss stock exchange is keen to improve capital access for SMEs. Among other aspects, these companies will benefit from enhanced visibility, a more relevant peer group and more effective price formation with regard to equity securities, the press release explains. At the same time, Sparks is set to offer a level of transparency and scrutiny to maximize interest on the part of investors, explains Valeria Ceccarelli, Head Primary Markets, SIX Swiss Exchange, in the press release.
SIX is of the view that interest in “the benefits of public capital markets” has been on the rise for several years now among SMEs. For example, venture capital investments alone have increased five-fold in Switzerland over the past ten years. These increased investment levels have also encouraged ever greater numbers of SMEs to launch IPOs.
“SMEs in Switzerland – as in many countries – are a powerful economic engine”, Ceccarelli emphasizes in the press release. And SIX is keen to position itself as the backbone of the Swiss economy. Before Sparks, SIX had previously launched services such as Stage, which offers access to independent research for SMEs. Moreover, SIX organizes conferences that bring SMEs together with investors.