Oslo Børs is to open a new marketplace, Merkur Market, which will offer listing and electronic trading of shares and equity certificates for both small and large companies as a supplement to the regulated Oslo Børs marketplaces. The new marketplace will open in January 2016.
Merkur Market will be an alternative marketplace that will be suitable for many companies, both Norwegian and international. The new marketplace will also be available to companies that are not public limited companies (ASA), and will be of interest to companies that seek greater visibility and liquidity for their shares with the opportunity of electronic share trading. The marketplaces operated by Oslo Børs are an important source of capital for business and industry, and the new marketplace will expand the scope of this in line with the changes made possible by EU rules and regulations.
"It is important for many companies to be able to improve the visibility of their shares and have the opportunity to raise equity capital, as well has having access to simple and transparent share trading, but without having to take the major step involved in seeking a listing on a regulated market or stock exchange and taking on all the obligations that this involves. For many companies this will represent a first step in accessing the capital market, and we want to help to make this possible by establishing Merkur Market", explains Bente A. Landsnes, President and CEO of Oslo Børs.
Speedy process for admission to trading
Merkur Market will offer an efficient application process for companies that wish to be admitted to trading. The admission requirements will be less extensive than is the case for admission to listing on Oslo Børs or Oslo Axess, but will nonetheless ensure that investors have access to the information they need.
Trading on Merkur Market will use the Oslo Børs trading system, ensuring an orderly market with transparent order book trading. Market surveillance will be carried out in the same way as for trading on Oslo Børs and Oslo Axess, and this will include active monitoring of issuers. Companies that are admitted to trading on Merkur Market will be subject to obligations including the duty of disclosure in relation to inside information.
Oslo Børs plans to open Merkur Market in January 2016. The new marketplace will be subject to the main provisions of the Securities Trading Act, and will have the status of a multilateral trading facility (MTF). Merkur Market will be set up within the scope of the authorisation to operate an MTF already held by Oslo Børs. The arrangements for Merkur Market will take into account the requirements of MiFID II, and it will therefore be ready in advance for the imminent new requirements for MTFs in general and for SME Growth Markets in particular.
Oslo Børs has produced proposals for the rules of the new marketplace, which are now being circulated for consultation to issuers who have shares, capital certificates and fixed income securities listed on the current Oslo Børs marketplaces, as well as to member firms, investors, mutual fund managers and other interest groups and user organisations that participate in the securities market.