Financial Times: Aquis to list on LSE after fundraising

11 June 2018

By Philip Stafford

Aquis Exchange, a UK share trading venue, will list in London this week having raised £32m from investors for its push to exploit Europe’s changing market landscape.

The two-week fundraising, comprising £12m in new funds and £20m from Warsaw Stock Exchange’s sale of its 20 per cent stake, at 269p per share will give Aquis a market capitalisation of £73m. The exchange will list on the Alternative Investment Market on Thursday.

Aquis, which was founded in 2012, offers a “pay for what you consume” data fee for traders and has banned what it calls aggressive and predatory high-speed trading in an effort to lure big traders and asset managers. It competes with the London Stock Exchange, Cboe Europe and other incumbent European exchanges.

It is trying to exploit January’s new Mifid II rules, which mandate more share trading on transparent markets like Aquis, the LSE, Deutsche Börse and Euronext. Policymakers also want asset managers to show their investors they are delivering the best prices for their deals on markets.

“There is a clear regulatory drive for greater transparency in trading and a requirement for market users to show they are using the best possible venue. Aquis is ideally positioned to capitalise on these trends in the years to come,” said Alasdair Haynes, chief executive.

Aquis has carved out a 2 per cent share of equity trading in Europe, making it the continent’s ninth-largest equity trading venue. It also provides market data and trading technology like surveillance systems.

Its nominated adviser and sole corporate broker is Liberum Capital.