Nasdaq First North is a division of Nasdaq Nordic and an alternative stock exchange for smaller companies in Europe. The market place, Nya Marknaden in Stockholm, changed name to First North in June 2006, and the First North exchange expanded to the stock exchange on Iceland in January 2007, and Helsinki in April 2007.
First North is Nasdaq's European growth market, designed for small and growing companies. Using a less extensive rulebook than the main market, the First North market provides companies more room to focus on their business and development while still taking advantage of all the positive aspects of being a listed company. And unlike the regulated main market, every company on First North has a Certified Adviser to ensure that companies comply with all requirements and rules. Many large and established companies began their journey on First North, creating growth and gaining experience. Many of these companies went on to listing on the Nasdaq regulated main market.
The First North market runs parallel to the main market, where the shares are traded in a single trading system. This allows approximately 200 European trading members of Nasdaq to easily trade on the two markets. For investors, First North offers an opportunity to invest in companies that are in an interesting stage of their growth. In addition, First North is a diversified market where companies represent a variety of industries, operating both in the Nordics and globally.
The general listing requirements are as follows:
A sufficient number of shareholders; and at least 10 percent of the share capital in public hands
Publication of a company description/Prospectus
The company must at all times maintain an agreement with a Certified Adviser (REIT Capital Markets is associated with a NASDAQ OMX Nordic Certified Adviser)
The share price shall, at the time of admission, be at least 50 Eurocent or the equivalent amount in the relevant trading currency
The shares must be registered electronically and must be able to be cleared and settled in a manner acceptable by the exchange
An application for admission of shares to trading shall cover all shares of the same class
The Articles of Association of the company shall provide that the shares are freely negotiable
Currency and Language:
The shares can be traded in EUR, SEK, DKK, and ISK. Information can be disclosed in English, Swedish, Danish, Icelandic, Norwegian, or Finnish.
The annual report shall be prepared in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, and generally accepted accounting principles in the company’s home country. If the accounting principles in the company’s home country cannot be regarded as generally accepted, the exchange may demand supplementary accounting information.
To trade on Nasdaq First North, the securities have to be settled through the local electronic settlement system. If the shares are registered in a country outside the Nordic region, the company can also choose to trade the shares as GDRs—in which case the company needs a depositary bank.