Plans to launch a Scottish stock exchange next year have been unveiled after its backers struck a partnership deal with the operator of markets across Europe.
Bourse Scot, headed by Edinburgh-based financial entrepreneur Tomás Carruthers who founded the Interactive Investor platform, would be the first Scottish stock exchange since the early 1970s.
The partnership agreement with Euronext, one of the world’s largest stock exchange operators, would enable the Scottish model to use its trading platform. Cambridge graduate Carruthers said the deal with Euronext paved the way for it to apply to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for approval and talks are underway with Scottish Enterprise to secure Regional Selective Assistance funding with a view to creating around 60 jobs.
The exchange would look to be based in Edinburgh but with offices planned for Glasgow, Aberdeen and other locations across Scotland.
If FCA approval is granted, Bourse Scot expects to launch in the second quarter of 2019 and said it is already in talks with a number of potential issuers who intend to use it to raise investment.
Businesses wishing to raise funds on the exchange will first need to demonstrate how the investment will deliver social and environment impacts, a factor Carruthers said investors were increasingly seeking.
He said the exchange provide a new route for Scottish businesses to raise funding and would be complementary to existing initiatives such as the Scottish Investment Bank, Scottish Enterprise funding, and the planned Scottish National Investment Bank.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Carruthers had been chief executive of the Social Stock Exchange, an initiative backed by former prime minister David Cameron as part of his Big Society campaign, until he left last year.