SMEs to benefit from new segment on Swiss stock exchange

Venture capital investment is a growth area within Switzerland. Across the last ten years, there has been a 500% increase in venture capital investments which has helped sustain this growth. This has been a key driver behind SMEs growing to a level where going public is an option.

The Swiss stock exchange has taken steps to provide support by setting up the Sparks equity segment. This is a dedicated area for investors to work with SMEs to strive towards higher levels of growth.

The Sparks equity segment is expected to help create an additional ecosystem within the Swiss financial markets. It’s something that the Swiss stock exchange is looking to work towards. Moreover, this will work towards achieving the long term interests of the Swiss markets. It is expected to keep the current upward trend of public investment going.

Swiss Stock Exchange

Valeria Ceccarelli, the Head of Primary Markets at SIX Swiss Exchange, commented:

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.

SIX has been spending a lot of time working on initiatives to work alongside the economy in Switzerland. The Sparks initiative follows on from other financial programs designed to work alongside SMEs within the country.

Sparks isn’t just about creating investment opportunities for companies, though. It is also about increasing the visibility and exposure of the companies. While this helps increase the possibility of new investments, it also aids in the growth of the company name. This is vitally important for any SME that is trying to go public.

SIX has released a range of information about Sparks at this point in time. One important area is regarding the information exchange between investors and SMEs. Sparks makes sure that all information can easily be passed between the two parties. As well as this, it ensures that every requirement for both the investor and the SME is catered to.

In order to be listed by Sparks, an SME has to have the following requirements:

  • A track record of more than two years
  • More than 50 listed investors
  • Equity capital of over CHF12 million
  • If equity capital is below CHF25 million then a capital increase of at least CHF8 million
  • Market capitalization below CHF500 million

There is also regulatory approval required for any SME applying to the Sparks program.

Since the start of the year, Six has significantly expanded its offering. In January, European crypto asset manager CoinShares launched Bitcoin ETP on SIX.

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