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Aquis Stock Exchange rule changes and new market segments now in effect



December 14, 2020

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14 December 2020 – Aquis Exchange PLC (AQX.L), the exchange services group, is pleased to announce that its proposed changes to the rules and regulations of its subsidiary Aquis Stock Exchange (AQSE) Growth Market are now in force. The AQSE Growth Market will be divided into two segments ‘Access’ and ‘Apex’, with different levels of admission criteria, in order to provide appropriate support across companies’ growth cycles. The Access market will focus on earlier stage growth companies, while Apex is the intended market for larger, more established businesses.
As of today:
  • New admissions to the Access market can now publish an admission document specifically tailored to small cap companies with proportionate disclosure requirements;
  • The Access market will accept SPACs with a minimum market cap of £700,000;
  • New admissions to the Apex market will be required to publish a growth prospectus, allowing private investor participation in their IPOs; and
  • Companies on the Apex market will be protected from short selling by third parties
As announced on the 23 November, the market maker incentive scheme, which has been designed to increase liquidity on the exchange, will come into effect on the 4 January 2021.
The rule changes mark the end of the consultation launched on 1 May 2020, and have been developed to enhance Aquis Stock Exchange and increase support from both retail and institutional investors by applying core Aquis values, such as transparency and innovation to the business, whilst ensuring a robust regulatoryframework. The complete rule books for each of the Access and Apex markets are available on the website.
Some of the companies that are currently listed on the Apex market include: private banking company Arbuthnot Banking , private equity investment company EPE Special Opportunities , winery Chapel Down , breweries Shepherd Neame and Daniel Thwaites , and private healthcare provider Rutherford Health.
Following these rule changes Apex companies will need to have:
  • A minimum market capitalisation of £10 million
  • At least 25% shares in public hands
  • At least 2 market makers
  • A minimum 2 years’ trading history
  • Adopted a recognised governance code, such as the QCA Code
Aquis Stock Exchange is one of only two existing options for growing businesses looking to IPO in the UK. It brings positive disruption and competition to the listed SME sector, alongside using superior technology to deliver better results for all participants.
Commenting on the changes coming into effect, Alasdair Haynes, CEO of Aquis, said:
"I am delighted to see the new rules in place across Aquis Stock Exchange today. I genuinely believe that whilst providing a strong regulatory framework, they will make the market work better for all those that use it and help to update the stock exchange for the current day, fit to service the needs of modern businesses.
Private investors are rightly becoming ever more vocal in their demand for better information and equal access. We support this, and through requiring companies joining Apex to publish a growth prospectus we are providing a way for them to be part of a company’s growth journey right from the point of floatation.
This is just one example of the work we have undertaken to create a better, moresup portive marketplace for all. We look forward to welcoming many more great growth businesses to Aquis Stock Exchange in due course."


Alma PR
(Financial PR Adviser to Aquis Exchange) +44 (0)20 3405 0209
Susie Hudson
Rebecca Sanders-Hewett
Caroline Forde

Notes to editors

Aquis Exchange is authorised and regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority and France's Autorité des Marchés Financiers to operate Multilateral Trading Facility businesses in the UK and in EU27 respectively. Aquis operates a lit order book and does not allow aggressive non-client proprietary trading, which has resulted in lower toxicity and signalling risk on Aquis than other trading venues in Europe. According to independent studies, trades on Aquis are less likely to lead to price movement than on other lit markets. Aquis uses a subscription pricing model which works by charging users according to the message traffic they generate, rather than a percentage of the value of each stock that they trade.
Aquis Stock Exchange (AQSE) is a stock market providing primary and secondary markets for equity and debt products. It is authorised as a Recognised Investment Exchange, which allows it to operate a regulated listings venue.
Aquis Technologies is the software and technology division of Aquis Exchange PLC. It creates and licenses cutting-edge, cost-effective matching engine and trade surveillance technology for banks, brokers, investment firms and exchanges. Aquis Exchange PLC (AQX.L) is listed on the Alternative Investment Market of the LSE (AIM) market.
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