Plans to establish a Scottish stock exchange have moved forward significantly as Bourse Scot, the company behind the initiative, has agreed to a new partnership with Euronext Technology Solutions, one of the world’s largest stock exchange operators.
Led by veteran broker and entrepreneur, Tomás Carruthers, the initiative – known as Project Heather – would see the country’s first stock exchange established since the early 70s. Bourse Scot plans to launch Scottish stock exchange in the second quarter of 2019, subject to approval by the Financial Conduct Authority, and is already in negotiations with potential issuers who intend to use it to raise investment. Euronext Technology Solutions has agreed to provide its Optiq software platform for a ‘virtual exchange’.
The purpose of the Project Heather is to offer Scottish companies a new and alternative route to raise funding, and to act as a complement to government-backed initiatives such as the Scottish Investment Bank, Scottish Enterprise funding and the Scottish National Investment Bank.
The Bourse Scot team is also in discussion with Scottish Enterprise to secure Regional Selective Assistance funding with a view to creating roughly 60 highly-skilled jobs. If successful, the new exchange will be based in Edinburgh with offices planned for Glasgow, Aberdeen and other locations across Scotland.
Exchange to Provide More Direct Route to Funding
Carruthers, said: “Stock exchanges play a vital role in bringing together investors and businesses seeking investment. In the 1960s there were five such exchanges across Scotland, enabling Scottish investors to directly fund business opportunities which, in turn, supported economic growth.
“Fifty years on and the economic landscape in Scotland is very different. Growth sectors such as renewable energy and biotechnology have once again established Scotland’s standing as a centre of global excellence.
“A Scottish stock exchange will ensure companies can continue to find the financing they need to reach their full potential. It’s clear there are strong regional economies across the UK, and Scotland is thriving with the combination of global industrial leaders, world-class universities, and an established professional community.”
Nick Thornton, head of Euronext Technology Solutions, added: “We are delighted to have been selected for this important project. The Optiq service enables our clients to focus on business innovation and growth while relying on our established pan-European infrastructure.”