The French Finance Ministry recently commissioned a report, ‘An EU-Listing Small Business Act’, published on 18 March by Fabrice Demaringy, Global Head of Capital Markets Activities of Mazars.
The report makes 20 key recommendations that will help facilitate small issuers access to capital and develop a proportionate regulatory environment. Some of these include:
- Create a legal EU definition of ‘Small and Medium-sized Issuers Listed in Europe’ (SMILEs);
- Implement the ‘Think Small First’ principle in any legislation;
- Raise the fundraising threshold under which a prospectus does not need to be produced to €5 or €10 million;
- Determine the proportionate information requirements for a SMILE prospectus (e.g. audited historical information should cover the last 2 years or shorter depending on how long the company has been in operation);
- Create a proportionate IFRS regime for the publication of financial statements – IFRS for SMEs;
- Allow reference to proportionate national Corporate Governance Codes (Our Corporate Governance Guidelines for AIM Companies are cited in the report); and
- Preserve the flexibility and attractiveness of exchange-regulated markets (e.g. all SMILES should benefit from modifications to the Prospectus Directive.
The QCA fed its views directly into this report through a meeting with Fabrice Demaringy in November 2009. QCA Chief Executive Tim Ward also sat on a panel at a conference in Brussels, where this report was unveiled, that focused on ‘Do we need an EU Listing Small Business Act?’.
Please click here to download copy of the report (pdf).