021016 meccanica



Being listed on Borsa Italiana represents a strategic opportunity for businesses in the machine tool sector and an important growth opportunity for the Italian stock market: this is what emerged from the conference "Machine Tools and the Stock Exchange" held today in Milan with the participation of Angelo Tantazzi and Massimo Capuano, Chairman and CEO of Borsa Italiana, Andrea Riello, President of UCIMU-Sistemi per produrre, Giorgio Cirla, Managing Director of Interbanca, Alberto Vacchi, Managing Director of IMA, Ennio Franceschetti, President and Managing Director of Gefran, and Gian Maria Gros Pietro, President of Società Autostrade and lecturer at Turin University.

Opening the conference, Andrea Riello, President of UCIMU-Sistemi per produrre, emphasised how, today, businesses in the sector are "faced with a changing competitive context" and find themselves "having to support new growth processes and, consequently, having to find the necessary financial resources. Hence, opening capital to third parties is certainly an opportunity that small and medium-sized enterprises need to look into."

"For Borsa Italiana," commented Massimo Capuano, CEO of Borsa Italiana, "providing incentives to the listing of domestic companies, and especially to small and medium-sized businesses, remains a fundamental objective. With listing, companies in the sector, that are among the most representative of Made in Italy products, would have access to new resources to strengthen their ability to compete, develop and successfully address tomorrow's challenges. A greater presence of the sector on the equity market would also be an important opportunity for investors and operators."

"For a company, being listed on the Stock Exchange represents a fundamental leap in entrepreneurial culture," added Giorgio Cirla, Managing Director of Interbanca. "Every company must ask itself what are its medium-term goals and should structure accordingly. Being listed on the Stock Exchange is the start of a process that changes ownership, management and organisational system, as well as relations with suppliers, clients, employees and financial system."

During the conference a research by Borsa Italiana, analysing the structural characteristics of the machine tool sector within the Italian industrial context, was presented. It highlighted the potential of the sector with reference to the listing on the Stock Exchange.

A symbol for Made in Italy products, the sector plays a strategic role in the Italian economy and is characterised by a high degree of internationalisation and technological innovation. With a turnover of about € 24 billion, 16 of which is exported, the machine tool sector employs 146,000 workers ().

In addition to being the world's fourth largest user of machine tools, Italy is also the world's third producer, with a very high propensity to export which in some branches exceeds 70%.

The sector comprises a high number of small firms.. These firms show good profit levels, even with limited capitalisation compared to the manufacturing sector average. Italian firms are smaller than other European listed companies in this sector and their direct competitors.

In growth terms, listing would not only contribute to the visibility of these firms, but also provide resources to finance new investments, and expansion plans, and to improve their competitiveness in distant outlet markets by attracting new, medium to long-term investors. In fact, listing would help improving the efficiency of manufacturing processes, increasing investments in R&D for innovative products and allowing to offer customers a complete service in terms of maintenance and before/after-sales support.

Today, listed companies in the sector represent only 1.04% of the capitalisation of the Stock Exchange industrial companies, 1.23% of contracts and 0.18% of the traded counter-value.

Borsa Italiana has identified 38 companies with potentially suitable characteristics for listing: as a whole they could contribute about € 1.8 billion in market capitalisation, equal to 1.5 times that of the already listed companiesin the sector .

The recent experience of new admissions shows how the Exchange is entering into the culture of these firms. Borsa Italiana wishes to support this process so that listing is no longer perceived only as a goal but also as a starting point for the development of industrial plans coherent with the new competitive context.

Milan, 16 October 2002

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