Plan to allow dual-listing unveiled at Web Summit
IRISH technology companies considering going public will soon have easier access to a dual listing on the world-famous NASDAQ and the Irish Stock Exchange (ISE) thanks to a new deal between the two exchanges.
The deal applies to the ISE's Enterprise Securities Market, which is geared towards high-growth start-ups, and the US-regulated NASDAQ, which is popular with technology companies from around the world.
The arrangement, which will begin early next year, means companies can create a listing on both exchanges at the same time using one submission, without having to meet separate regulatory requirements. It will bring down costs substantially for businesses.
The announcement was made yesterday at Dublin's Web Summit conference.
"It's great news from all perspectives," said Linda Hickey, head of corporate broking at Dublin stockbroking firm Goodbody. "Attracting more companies to the Irish Stock Exchange means a more vibrant marketplace."
A number of Irish companies have bypassed the ISE in recent years in favour of the NASDAQ. Earlier this year, Irish transport company Ardmore Shipping raised $160m by floating on the NASDAQ, completely ignoring the Irish exchange. Ms Hickey said that was very disappointing.
"It is understandable – a NASDAQ listing is a hugely attractive, particularly for tech companies, giving them a great profile and placing them among a set of peers who carry a certain credence with investors" she said.
"But it's an awful pity to miss out on the benefits of an Irish listing.
"Having a listing in Ireland gives you access to the very skilled investment community here," Ms Hickey explained. "Ireland's stockbroking firms like Goodbody, Davy and Merrion are very highly respected and very experienced, and their research notes on ISE-listed companies are distributed to institutional investors around the world."
She added that a number of Irish technology companies were considering going public in the next 12 to 18 months and may now be more likely to consider an Irish listing because of the new deal.
The deal was made possible by Budget 2014, which removed the stamp duty previously levied on share trading on the ESM.
"It shows that if we get legislative changes, we can respond to them very quickly," said the ISE's director of strategy Aileen O'Donoghue.
"Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for Irish companies to access international capital through our own markets or in collaboration with others." The arrangement is good news for the ISE, given that it has suffered as several large companies moved their listing to the UK or US.
Building materials supplier Grafton is the most recent example; the company, which until recently accounted for 2.3pc of the entire value of the ISEQ Index, formally delisted earlier this month.