Euronext pitches for mainland companies
Mark O'Neill in Shanghai
Euronext, one of the three main stock markets in Europe, has joined the race to attract mainland companies to list, despatching its first large delegation to Beijing and Shenzhen this week to meet prospective listing candidates.
However, it is a latecomer to the party, trailing Hong Kong, New York, London and Singapore, which have already invested much time and effort in establishing themselves as the preferred destinations for mainland companies seeking overseas listings.
Euronext was formed in September 2002 by a merger of the stock exchanges of Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris. It later merged with the Portuguese stock exchange and futures and options exchange Liffe. At present, no mainland companies are listed.
'Investors in Europe are looking to diversify their investment options,' Martine Charbonnier, the head of Euronext's listing division, said in Beijing on Wednesday.
'Unlike investors in the United States, they have a sense of freshness towards Chinese companies. We welcome them to list, from whatever sector.'
Erik Wenngren, the head of the market's international department, said Europe's marketplace was large, consisting of 453 million consumers and funds totalling Euro4.2 trillion ($39.02 trillion).
'A quarter of our companies come from overseas,' he added.
Euronext is offering membership both of its main board and of Alternext, the alternative market board that was set up in May this year for smaller firms.
Ms Charbonnier and Mr Wenngren are members of the first major Euronext delegation to the mainland.