The development comes as businesses grow increasingly worried about the fallout of Brexit as Britain’s planned departure from the European Union moves closer, with no path to a proper exit deal in sight.
Wednesday 20, February 2019
(Bloomberg) --Companies planning share sales are increasingly turning away from London and instead looking at Nasdaq’s Nordic markets.
Lauri Rosendahl, the CEO of Nasdaq Nordic in Stockholm, said, “10 per cent of all the companies that we now talk to about a potential listing are non-Nordic. A year ago it was maybe five to seven per cent.”
Rosendahl says interest is coming from firms based in Ireland, among others. When it comes to sectors, Rosendahl points to health-tech, software games and fintech companies as examples of industries that all see a better future in the Nordics than in London.
Last year, Zutec Holding became the first Irish company to list in Stockholm. Its CEO, Brendan O’Riordan, said back then that Brexit played a role in the decision, as did the fact that Sweden has a “tech-savvy” investment community.
Nasdaq is currently locked in battle with Euronext in its quest to buy Norway’s main stock exchange, Oslo Bors. As things stand now, Nasdaq is backed by shareholders representing just over 35 per cent of Oslo Bors, while Euronext has slightly more than 50 per cent. Both bidders say they’re committed to completing a deal, with Euronext recently raising its offer to underscore its point.
Nasdaq already operates exchanges in Stockholm, Copenhagen as well as Helsinki and Reykjavik -- arguing that makes it a better strategic fit for Oslo Bors. Euronext says it would make Oslo its Nordic hub with a view to expanding in the region.
Listings on Nasdaq Nordic slowed in the second half of last year as volatile markets gave some companies cold feet. In 2018, there were 83 listings done via the exchange operator, compared with a record 115 a year earlier.