Strong Growth in NYSE European Listings

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European companies –similar to what was the case with IPO and new issuance activity in general during that time- took a breath in the two years following the listing of The Royal Bank of Scotland (NYSE: RBS) on the NYSE in October 2007. After eight quarters of hibernation, a European mega cap company was to ring in a new era of European listings on the NYSE.

We mark the second anniversary of the listing of Belgian brewing giant Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE: BUD) on the NYSE. ADRs of the combined company, with its home market NYSE Euronext Brussels and a legacy listing on the NYSE (Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc. was listed on the until November 2008), started trading on the NYSE on September 16, 2009. For a subsequent event (NFL Kick-Off 2011), the company brought a Clydesdale horse on the floor, which amplified even further the visibility of the listing. Looking at the most recent six months of trading (Jun-Sep 2011), BUD boasts a liquidity of 2 million ADRs a day representing about 30% of world-wide volume. These numbers represent a record 2-year mark among any European issuer that started as a quotation (i.e. without an offering).

A month after BUD’s ‘return’ to the NYSE, British insurance blue chip Aviva (NYSE: AV) listed its ADRs on the NYSE. About half a year after that, the Norwegian large cap Seadrill (NYSE: SDRL) added a US listing on the NYSE.

As a balance to the bell-weather listings named above, the majority of European listings had a market capitalization of under $2 billion (please note: 1/3 of all companies on NYSE have a market capitalization of less than $1 billion). These are the companies that at times do not make it onto the front pages of the financial press or into prime time interviews of the financial media. Some of the entrepreneurial companies have not even found time yet on their calendars to ‘ring the bell’ (typically associated with the first day of trading).

Technology companies that chose to solely list on the NYSE include Sequans (France, NYSE: SQNS, world-leading 4G chipmaker, supplying LTE and WiMAX chips to wireless equipment and device manufacturers worldwide), Interxion (Netherlands, NYSE: INXN, a leading pan-European provider of co-location and associated managed services) and Elster (Germany, NYSE: ELT, a world leader in Advanced Metering Infrastructure -AMI- and integrated metering and utilization solutions).

The European media company Promotora de Informaciones PRISA (NYSE: PRIS and PRIS.B) listed its ADRs on the NYSE, amplifying its reach in the capital markets and underlining its growth commitment in the Americas.

Shipping companies have continued to be very active and the NYSE secured the listings of Greece-headquartered companies Costamare (NYSE: CMRE)  Box Ships (NYSE: BOX), Paragon Shipping (NYSE: PRGN, Nasdaq transfer), Crude Carriers (NYSE: CRU) as well as Scorpio Tankers (NYSE: STNG) from Monaco.

Quite a flurry of activity in the last 24 months. People –including those I speak to in the capital markets community- are often surprised by the number and breadth of European listings on the NYSE over the last two years. Several large and small companies across Europe are in our pipeline and we are continuing to win significant tech listings from around the world for our market. The NYSE’s share of new tech listings has recently climbed to over 50% (as evidenced by the IPOs of LinkedIn, Pandora, Demand Media, etc.).

In closing, a quick word on the regulatory angle: the vast majority of the European companies mentioned above listed on the NYSE (to be more precise: registered with the SEC) using International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) financial statements. Many of you are aware that in December 2007, the SEC adopted the final rule, Acceptance From Foreign Private Issuers of Financial Statements Prepared in Accordance With International Financial Reporting Standards Without Reconciliation to U.S. GAAP, allowing foreign private issuers whose financial statements are prepared using IFRS as issued by the IASB to file their financial statements without reconciliation to U.S. GAAP. This rule change is a reality and viewed as a major contributor in the renewed listing activity by international companies in the US.

To Recap:

2nd anniversary of Anheuser-Busch InBev listing

11 more European listings since

Majority of new listings are reporting in IFRS

NYSE European Listings Recap
Company Symbol Country Listing Date Current Market Cap ($M)
Sequans Communications S.A. ADS SQNS France 4/15/11 $204
InterXion Holdings N.V. INXN Netherlands 1/28/11 $824
Promotora de Informaciones S.A. PRIS and PRIS.B Spain 12/03/10 $669
Costamare Inc. CMRE Greece 11/04/10 $943
Box Shops TEU Greece 10/28/10 $137
Elster Group SE ELT Germany 09/30/10 $1,942
Seadrill Ltd. SDRL Norway 04/15/10 $14,321
Scorpio Tankers Inc. STNG Monaco 03/31/10 $218
Paragon Shipping Inc. PRGN Greece 03/24/10 $80
Crude Carriers Corp. CRU Greece 03/12/10 $130
Aviva PLC AV United Kingdom 10/20/09 $15,861
Anheuser-Busch-InBev BUD Belgium 09/16/09 $88,727
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