Nasdaq Helsinki Chief Sees Strong Pipeline of Public Offerings

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More companies are raising funds by selling equity in Stockholm and Helsinki as securities attract investors amid low central bank rates, according to Lauri Rosendahl, the president of the Helsinki stock exchange.

“The pipeline looks very good,” Rosendahl, who leads the unit of Nasdaq OMX Group Inc., said in an interview. “Stockholm’s heating up, you could say, with 22 listings in June alone. This ecosystem is now demonstrating it works, especially given this interest-rate environment.”

Negative central bank rates have pushed up equity valuations this year as company profits improve with the economy and investors move to securities that generate higher returns. European companies raised almost $20 billion in the first quarter by selling shares, outpacing the U.S. and Asia-Pacific. In the past week, stocks have fallen in Europe as investors turned skittish.

Finnish companies have raised about 574 million euros ($644 million) in listings over the past 12 months, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That ends a drought of new stocks on the exchange -- no initial public offerings took place from 2008 to 2012.

Recent listings on Helsinki’s main list include Pihlajalinna Oyj, a medical services provider, which raised 60 million euros in gross terms. The company’s stock has risen 22 percent since trading began on June 4.

“Last year, nine companies listed on the Helsinki stock exchange and now it looks like we’ll have eight by midsummer,” Rosendahl said. “The second half looks promising. There’s more supply -- new companies seeking listing, and demand has been strong, both domestic and foreign.”

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