HAPPY BIRTHDAY, STAR!
On April 2nd, 2002 Borsa Italiana's STAR segment celebrated its first anniversary. The Segmento Titoli ad Alti Requisiti" (high profile share segment) is especially designed for companies prepared to comply with specific prerequisites in terms of transparency, liquidity and corporate governance, and have a total capitalisation of less than 800 million Euro.
During its first twelve months of existence Star's record has been one of consistent growth: the number of companies has almost doubled, from the original 20 to the current 36 and capitalisation has increased by 56.1%, and on the 2nd of April 2002 passed the 8 billion Euro mark.
Two companies listed in the segment, Recordati and Merloni, have become Blue Chips and, in addition, Recordati has been included in the MIDEX index.
Over the course of the past twelve months the MIBSTAR index has outperformed the other national indexes (MIB, MIB 30 and MIDEX) and the other small cap indexes of the European market (Smax of the Deutsche Börse and FTSE Small Cap of the London Stock Exchange). The volatility of shares has also remained lower than the rest of the market.
The 36 STAR companies have a percentage of floating shares higher than the percentage required by Borsa Italiana - i.e. 20% if already quoted, 35% in the case of an IPO.Nine of the companies have a floating margin of between 20 and 30% of capital, nine between 30% and 35%, five between 35% and 40%, ten between 40% and 50% and three higher than 50%.
As far as corporate governance is concerned, 78% of the STAR companies have a Board of Directors primarily made up of non-executive or independent Directors and, moreover, 51% have a more independent directors than the minimum required.
The compulsory publication of quarterly statements within 45 days following the end of the quarter and their simultaneous publication on Internet in both Italian and English, have given STAR companies the opportunity to be among the first to announce the results of the last financial year. These results were presented - last February in Milan - to over 700 investors and analysts during the course of the 2001 STAR Company Results event organised by Borsa Italiana.
During the course of 2001, in order to promote the visibility and market awareness of STAR companies within the international financial community, a series of presentations was organised, with the help of major Italian brokers, in Dublin, Edinburgh, London and Paris.
The effort made by the STAR member companies to guarantee the maximum level of transparency has resulted in over 400 analyses performed by 34 brokers. This is a substantial increase on research reports produced before the same companies joined STAR.
Milan, 6th of April 2002
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