European Small-Cap Stock Exchange’s First Anniversary: Easdaq Celebrate Milestone as Nasdaq Wanna

Easdaq, the pan-European, screen-based electronic stock market just finished celebrating its first full trading year, raising more than $854 million for 23 listed companies.

Although the 12-month volume was under 90 million shares the equivalent of about ten percent of Nasdaq's daily volume and the average trade price equaled $55,700, Easdaq officials are jubilant.

"To have a pan-European stock market operating successfully is a great achievement," said Stanislas Yassukovich, chairman of the Brussels-based exchange. "We have gained substantial critical mass, trading volume has risen steadily and the market has shown that it is robust even in turbulent times."

"We look forward to the success of a single, well-regulated market to benefit investors and companies, and contribute to the economic development of Europe," said Jacques Putzeys, Easdaq's chief executive.

Easdaq went live on Nov. 27, 1996 with the trading of Dr. Solomon's Group, a Belgian anti-virus software company.

In the first 12 months, Easdaq attracted a network of 56 members from 12 countries, including several market makers from the U.S. The U.S. market makers include New York's Cowen & Co., Hambrecht & Quist of San Francisco, Herzog, Heine, Geduld of Jersey City and newly-renamed Bank America Robertson Stephens, based in San Francisco.

Easdaq was established in Belgium, a European Union member state, and is governed by a single legal system and one supervisory structure. It is not an association of multi-domestic exchanges.

Easdaq provides a public trading facility for small-cap, high-growth companies. The screen-based, quote-driven market uses a multiple market-maker system modeled on Nasdaq. Listed companies are required to distribute a minimum free-float of shares, equal to roughly 20 percent of total capitalization, to no less than 100 holders.

Listings requirements, which are subject to international accounting standards, are completed in English. There is a simplified admission process for companies listed on Nasdaq, the New York Stock Exchange or the American Stock Exchange that want to have a dual listing on Easdaq.

Easdaq officials are preparing to launch an interactive Internet site providing company history, a 15-minute delay for stock prices and other information. The exchange is also planning to introduce the Easdaq All-Share Index by the end of the first quarter.

Easdaq Key Figures for 1997

Market Days 259

Listed Companies 23

Total Market Capitalization $5.08 billion

Average Market Cap. Per Company $220.7 million

Total Turnover $1.16 billion

Capital Raised $881 million

Shares Traded 88.70 million

Turnover Rate 32.25 percent

Average Trade Size $55,700

Average Market Makers Per Company 5.70

Index Change up 31.69 percent

Note: All figures as of Dec. 5, 1997

All monetary figures in U.S. dollars

Source: Easdaq