​The Danish stock market has a relatively small size compared to other European countries. This is mainly due to the commercial structure with many small and medium sized businesses, and it is also reflected in the fact that IPO is not the main source for raising capital in the corporate sector.

There is a need for a more efficient and liquid stock market. One of the preconditions for this is the creation of a share culture. The Danish share culture is well underway, and it is i.a. supported by a growing number of private investors. One of the main reasons that the number of private investors has been relatively low - for example in relation to Sweden - is the high Danish tax level and a very complex tax structure. From 2006, the tax rules on capital gains have been revised and made more transparent, and this should help increase the attractiveness of share investments from the private investors.

The market value of shares listed on NASDAQ OMX Copenhagen make up about a fifth of the cumulative market value of all shares on NASDAQ OMX’s Nordic stock exchange.

Trading Systems

In 1997, the Copenhagen Stock Exchange entered into an alliance with Stockholmsbörsen (Stockholm Stock Exchange), called NOREX. The alliance is based on the principles of independent exchanges, cross-membership, a common trading system and harmonised trading rules. In 2000, the Oslo Stock Exchange and the Iceland Stock Exchange joined the alliance, while HEX Integrated Markets, representing Stockholm (already in the NOREX Alliance) as well as the stock exchanges in Helsinki, Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius, joined in 2004. As of 1 April 2005, the Copenhagen Stock Exchange also merged with OMX. American NASDAQ merged with OMX in 2007 to the current NASDAQ OMX.

The first step in the NOREX alliance was to establish a joint trading system for shares, SAXESS. In mid-1999, the Danish share trading was transferred to trading on SAXESS, and in October 2000, the Danish bond trading was transferred as well. At the end of 2000, the Danish share derivatives transferred to trading on the Swedish trading system CLICK, which is also used to trade with Swedish derivatives. OMX has also partnered with EDX London, which means that Nordic share derivatives can be traded with local clearing in the UK. 

The vision for the NOREX alliance was to create a common Nordic securities market, where participants could trade with as few barriers as possible. The common Nordic securities market became a reality in the fall of 2006 with the creation of the Nordic Exchange. This initiative was intended to strengthen the Nordic region's competitiveness and is divided into a Nordic and Baltic list. The Nordic list consists of securities listed in Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki and Iceland, while the Baltic list consists of securities from Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius. In the long term, it is intended that the two lists should merge into one. The advantage for companies with common lists is increased visibility and exposure. It is also beneficial for investors as they have a larger selection on one single marketplace. The Nordic Exchange is traded in local currency and the international standard for classifications (GICS) is used.

By the end of 2009, the SAXESS system got retired as NASDAQ's trading system INET was introduced on the Nordic Exchange. The purpose is similar to the previous Nordic-Baltic integration to achieve economies of scale in the exchange alliance and to offer customers a wide selection of trading opportunities.
The Nordic and Baltic list represents the main market of NASDAQ OMX’s Nordic Exchange, which is regulated by EU directives and is under the supervision of national financial supervisory authorities. In 2006, a new sub-market, First North, was created as an alternative market for growth companies from Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Iceland. The rules for admission to First North are less stringent than the rules for listing on a traditional stock exchange, which provides small-and medium-sized growth companies that are not mature enough for an actual IPO, new opportunities for raising capital.
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