This content is from: Local Insights

New market segment

The Vienna Stock Exchange (Wiener Börse) has launched a new market segment, the mid-market segment. It is specifically tailored for smaller and medium-sized enterprises with lower financing requirements.

Two distinct features characterize this particular segment:

Companies may choose either between a listing on the regulated market (including the Official Market and the Semi-official Market) and a listing on the unregulated market (the so-called Third Market).

Any company intending to be listed on the mid-market segment must appoint a capital market coach (CMC). The primary tasks of the CMC include an evaluation as to whether the company is fit for the mid-market segment, support through the going-public process and ongoing assistance during the company's life as a listed entity.

In the Vienna Stock Exchange's view, these are designed to safeguard quality and to boost liquidity on the mid-market. The race for opening the mid-market has allegedly already begun. Two companies previously listed in the Other Listings segment have already switched to the mid-market segment and the first mid-market IPO is reportedly imminent.

There are no minimum requirements regarding issuing volume or the minimum capitalization of free float. To attract potential entrants, the Vienna Stock Exchange has further announced that no administrative fees will be levied for companies entering the mid-market segment until year-end. As already outlined, the most important feature in the mid-market is the function of the CMC, which supports the company before and during its initial public offering, and offers ongoing support. The issuer is responsible for complying with the rules and regulations of the primary and secondary markets. Any company listed in the mid-market segment must publish financial statements, bi-annual reports and a calendar of corporate events. If the company opts for a listing on the unregulated Third Market, it may continue to prepare financial statements according to national accounting standards; otherwise a change of the accounting policies to IFRS is required.

Table 1 and Table 2 have been derived from the Vienna Stock Exchange's webpage and summarize the most important criteria for admission to the mid-market and the ongoing obligations arising out of a listing in this particular segment.

Table 1: Criteria for admission to the mid-market
Regulated market (Official, Semi-official)Unregulated market (Third Market)
Minimum capitalization of free floatNo minimum requirementNo minimum requirement
Type of shareOnly ordinary sharesOnly ordinary shares
Minimum existence of companyOfficial Market: three years
Semi-official Market: one year
One year
Support for IPOCapital Market Coach (CMC)Capital Market Coach (CMC)
Source: Vienna Stock Exchange

Table 2: Transparency criteria on the mid-market
Regulated market (Official, Semi-official)Regulated market (Official, Semi-official)Unregulated market (Third Market)
Financial statementPublication within four months after the end of the reporting periodPublication within four months after the end of the reporting periodPublication within five months after the end of the reporting period
Bi-annual reportsPublication within two months after the end of the first half-yearPublication within two months after the end of the first half-yearPublication within three months after the end of the first half-year
Interim statements (for 1Q and 3Q)YesYesNo
Calendar of corporate eventsYesYesYes
Accounting standardsIFRSIFRSNational accounting standards or IFRS (optional)
LanguageGermanGermanGerman or English
Obligation to disclose price-sensitive informationYesYes
Source: Vienna Stock Exchange

While expectations are high, it will only crystallize in the long run whether the mid-market segment is a successful funding source for small and medium-sized enterprises.

Ursula Rath

© 2021 Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC. For help please see our FAQs.

Instant access to all of our content. Membership Options | 30 Day Trial