Scottish stock exchange launch ‘on track’

Scotland’s first stock exchange since the early 1970s could be launched within months – with a number of companies already in talks over plans to use it to raise funds.

Chief executive Tomas Carruthers expects the Scottish Stock Exchange to launch within months. Picture: Chris Watt

Tomas Carruthers, the entrepreneur who first unveiled plans for the exchange in December, yesterday told business leaders that he is targeting a go-live date in the second half of 2019.

Carruthers, who founded the Interactive Investor platform, also told the update meeting in Edinburgh that there had been a number of “very credible approaches from Scottish companies who are very keen to work with us”.

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Businesses who want to raise funds on the exchange will first need to demonstrate how the investment raised will deliver social and environment impacts.

Carruthers said he was keen to talk to companies who would benefit from “long-term sustainable growth” as a result of being on the public market.

Work to launch the exchange – dubbed Project Heather – has already seen its backers agree terms with technology partners and platform testing is expected to start soon.

Lord Provost of Edinburgh Frank Ross yesterday welcomed the plans and said the emphasis on social investment could be “an exemplar for capital markets around the world”.

The exchange would look to be based in Edinburgh but with offices across Scotland.

Carruthers had been chief executive of the Social Stock Exchange, an initiative backed by former prime minister David Cameron.