Nasdaq European Markets Sustains its Strong Position in the SME Listings and Sustainable Debt Market in 2023


Nasdaq celebrated its 130th switch from Nasdaq First North Growth Market to Main Market.

Despite lower numbers in both capital raised and number of listings relative to previous years, Nasdaq remains the leading European exchange groups in terms of number of SME listings on its markets over the past years. Since the founding of Nasdaq First North in 2006, Nasdaq had its 130th company to transfer from Nasdaq First North Growth Market to Main Market in December 2023. The 130 companies have grown and matured, presenting an average annual growth rate of 43 percent from the first day of trading on First North to the first day of trading on the Main Market.

“In the midst of economic headwinds, the market has remained challenging in 2023. Despite that Nasdaq has been able to maintain its position as a leading listings venue in Europe, especially for SME companies. Nasdaq First North is the leading SME market not only in terms of bringing companies to the market but also the evolution of companies over time in driving innovation and growth supported by both institutional investors and retail investors. We are pleased to celebrate the 130th switch from First North to our Main Markets,” said Adam Kostyál, Head of European Listings at Nasdaq.

Continuing to Enable Sustainable Growth

The Nordic and Baltic Sustainable Debt Markets grew by 33% from the previous year to EUR 63 billion (2022: EUR 47.5 bn) during a period of turbulence and relatively low activity in overall Nordic debt market. This is a testament to the ever-growing focus on sustainability amongst investors and companies alike.

Sweden is the most active sustainable bond market in the Nordic and Baltic countries and has historically been dominated by issuers from the real estate sector. In fact, 2023 marks the 10th anniversary of the worlds’ first green corporate bond, which was issued by the Swedish real estate company Vasakronan. In 2023, new sustainable bond listings grew by 39% in Stockholm, which clearly shows how the concept of green bonds has become an integral part of the broader bond market and that the sustainable bond market is more resilient than ever before.

“It is pleasing to see that our Nordic and Baltic markets remain focused on channeling capital towards sustainable projects and assets also in time of uncertain market. The Nordic and Baltic sustainable bond market is well positioned to grow even faster in coming years when interest rate levels are expected to taper off. We look forward to seeing how the market responds to the new macro environment,” said Fredrik Ekström, President of Nasdaq Stockholm and Head of European Fixed Income.

In October 2023, Nasdaq launched Custom Basket Forwards. The Custom Basket Forwards solution meets the increasing market demand for a simpler and more efficient way of handling equity exposures by utilizing standardized contracts on the regulated market. Custom Basket Forwards enable investors to create a Forward contract on a customized equity basket that is defined by return type, currency, and selected from a European universe of equities, totaling around 1,700+ stocks from 15 countries.

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