Quicker listing enables the Oslo Stock Exchange to attract shipping company IPOs, experts have said.
This is seen as a distinct advantage under the current conditions of volatile shipping markets.
It usually takes about eight weeks from filing an application to list shares in a company on the Oslo bourse until start of trading in them, said Dag Erik Rasmussen, member of the OSE board, in a presentation at Nor-Shipping on Wednesday. By comparison, listing on the New York Stock Exchange can take five months or more. The difference mainly comes from simpler procedures in Oslo.
Peder Simonssen, CFO of Avance Gas Holding, the Oslo listed VLGC operator, said the company had considered going public in the US as an alternative to Oslo. “The shipping markets are very volatile now, so the time to market was very important,” he said in his presentation at the Nor-Shipping conference on the Oslo bourse.
The speedy listing process together with low cost of it tilted the balance in the favour of Oslo, Simonssen continued. Trading in the shares of Avance started on 15 April 2014, two months after the company had filed its intention to go public.
Jonathan Staubo, shipping analyst at Fearnley Securities, said that a number of companies are considering an IPO in Oslo at the moment. He did not disclose further details.
Listing in Oslo requires a company to have market capitalisation of at least NOK300 million (USD24 million), it must have been in business for at least three years before applying for listing and it must have at least 500 shareholders registered in VPS, the Norwegian registrar of owners of securities. In addition, free float of the shares must be at least 25% of their total number, OSE officials said.
International investment banks that operate from London account for two thirds of the daily trading volume in Oslo and foreign investors control one third of the total market capitalisation of the companies listed in Oslo.