Borregaard, Wilh. Wilhelmsen and Veripos have each won first place in their categories in the European Small and Mid-Cap Awards. The awards are organised by the EU Commission, the Federation of European Securities Exchanges (FESE) and European Issuers. All the leading European stock exchanges nominated candidates for the awards, and the awards ceremony took place in Brussels yesterday evening.
“The Norwegian stock market is distinguished by the large number of new listings and a high level of new issue activity. This has been the case for many years. The success of Norwegian companies in today’s awards demonstrate that we are attracting high-quality companies”, comments Bente A. Landsnes, President and CEO of Oslo Børs.
Borregaard won the category for the most innovative newcomer, Wilh. Wilhelmsen won the award for the most internationally-minded newcomer, and Veripos won the “Rising star” award. Oslo Børs had nominated four companies for the awards, which are intended to highlight the best recently-listed European small and mid-size companies, with one winning company in each of the four categories. Accordingly, there was only one category where the winner was not a Norwegian company.
“The winners are exceptional companies in their categories. In addition, they have demonstrated that they are well-managed and have made good use of the share capital they raised in conjunction with their listing”, commented the jury.
The independent expert jury, with members from academia, the financial world and the media, had shortlisted 16 candidates for the four awards. The competition was open to companies that were first listed on a stock exchange between 2010 and 2012. In arranging these awards, the EU Commission hopes to encourage more companies to access the stock market as a source of new capital.
Oslo Børs has the highest number of new listings and the highest level of capital market activity of any of the Nordic exchanges. The Oslo market has seen eight new listings so far this year, and more companies are in the pipeline for listing. The number of new listings on European exchanges has fallen sharply since its pre-crisis peak in 2007, dropping from 666 new listings in 2007 to 165 in 2012 according to FESE.
“In contrast to many other countries, we have seen a steady stream of new listings here in Norway, but the Norwegian market was also affected by the challenging climate following the financial crisis”, comments Bente Landsnes. “The situation is now looking much more encouraging, particularly in our market. We are seeing a continuous increase in the number of companies, both Norwegian and foreign, getting in touch with us and considering listing their shares in Oslo. Having access to well-functioning equities and fixed income markets is essential for companies seeking to raise risk capital”, she adds.
New listing activity in the USA has shown a strong increase this year, with 63 new listings in the third quarter alone. Here in Norway, the number of new listings had exceeded the level seen last year by October. In addition, one more company – BW LPG – has been approved for admission to listing , and two further companies, Link Mobility Group and Napatech, have applied for admission to listing. A number of other companies have also indicated that they hope to be listed on Oslo Børs over the coming months.
More about the awards:
Most innovative newcomer – Borregaard
This newly listed mid-cap company should be one that places innovation at the centre of its strategy for business development. It may be introducing innovative technology to the market, or using innovative techniques in its day-to-day operations. It should be well managed and successful in its sector. The Jury will pay particular attention to the future potential that the innovation offers.
Most internationally-minded newcomer – Wilh. Wilhelmsen
This newly listed mid-cap company will have achieved impressive results in terms of international sales, profit and market share growth. It may have expanded its presence in either existing or new markets. It will be well-managed and demonstrate a sound strategy for taking advantage of opportunities outside its own country.
“Rising star” – Veripos
This newly listed company should stand out as an exceptional performer in the sub-group of SMEs with a market capitalisation of up to €50 million. It should also be a responsible corporate citizen. It should be an emerging business and one that clearly has further growth potential. It will be well managed and have made good use of the proceeds of floatation. Since going public, its share price should have risen to a respectable but not excessive premium.
Best new listed company
This newly listed mid-cap company should stand out as an exceptional performer in its sector and be a responsible corporate citizen. It should have clear growth potential. It will be well managed and have made good use of the proceeds of floatation. Since going public, its share price should have risen to a respectable but not excessive premium.