Vienna bourse targets SMEs to boost Austrian equity market participation
CEO says bank liquidity and lavish social spending hamper capital markets development.
The Vienna Stock Exchange has launched a new segment for small and medium-sized businesses in a bid to boost capital markets participation by Austrian companies.
“The initiative is very similar to other European SME markets,” says Christoph Boschan, head of the CEE Stock Exchange Group, which includes the Vienna bourse. “The idea is always to provide SMEs with easy, inexpensive and fast access to the stock exchange. We want to make that possible in Austria as well.”
The basic segment included 23 stocks when trading opened on January 21, while a premium segment for more established firms – Direct Market Plus – has four new listings as well as four existing names. The former included startup300, a Linz-based ecosystem and investor network for entrepreneurs.
The initiative is part of a broader campaign to breathe life into Austria’s traditionally torpid capital markets.
Since moving to Vienna from his native Germany in September 2016, Boschan has focused on both broadening the range of assets available to Austrian investors and attracting international buyers to the country.
In June 2017, the Vienna bourse began offering international shares via its Global Market segment, which has since been expanded to cover nearly 600 names from developed and emerging regions.