STAR Conference 2006, 1/2 March, Milan

66 companies meet 95 investment houses

Mar 01 2006 - 10:45


95 investment houses – of which more than half are foreign – meet 66 companies
over 700 one-on-one meetings

The STAR companies meet the Italian and international financial community on Wednesday and Thursday 1/2 March in Milan, at the FMCCenter (Milan Fair/Porta Gattamelata).
The STAR Conference, now at its fifth edition in Italy, provides an opportunity to discuss the results achieved and the future prospects of high standard Italian small and mid caps.
This year, more than 700 one-on-one meetings have been scheduled with the 66 companies participating in the Conference (of a total of 71 STAR companies), and 95 investment houses are present, more than half of which are foreign-based.
The new events of the STAR Conference 2006 include the “STARVillage”, an exhibition area dedicated to presentation of the products, culture and corporate identities of the STAR companies.
Upcoming conferences with the international financial community are planned for May, in New York, and September, in London.

STAR, the high standard mid cap segment of Borsa Italiana, debuted in April 2001 with 20 companies, and today it counts over 71, all leaders in their respective sectors, which in a certain way reflects the variety and competitiveness of the economy in our Country.
STAR is the best environment for medium-sized companies (with capitalisation of less than one billion euros) that are already structured and want to maximise the benefits of listing, investing heavily in transparency and in the quality of governance.

Evidence of the success of STAR in these 5 years is provided by several indicators:

  • with median daily stock trading levels up from 300 thousand euros in 2001 to 1.2 million euros in January 2006, it is the most liquid mid cap segment in Europe, with volumes higher than those of mid caps in the English, French and German markets;
  • from the end of 2001 to today, capitalisation of the entire segment has more than doubled, from 8.2 to 19.6 billion euros;
  • aggregate revenues of the STAR companies during the period 2002-2005 increased from 14.8 to 20 billion euros, with an average annual growth of 11%;
  • during the same period, the aggregate gross operating margin grew from 1.7 billion euros to 2.8 billion euros, for an average annual increase of 16%;
  • the All Stars index gained 95% in the past three years (end 2002).

The 71 STAR companies, which currently represent 25% of the total number of companies listed in Borsa Italiana, have an average free-float equal to 41% of capital, well above the 35% requirement for new listings (20% for companies already listed). More specifically, 2 out of 3 companies have adopted more stringent requirements than those actually enforced: 69% of STAR companies have a greater number of independent directors than required; 73% have both a Remuneration Committee as well as an incentive-based remuneration plan. In addition, some 1,077 reports and surveys of companies belonging to the segment were produced last year alone, representing a coverage which is four times higher than the standard average of mid and small caps.

The performance of STAR is also highlighted by the trend of its indices during the last month: All Stars, the index comprising all companies in the segment, gained 33% during 2005 and 13.3% during the first two months of 2006; Star, the index that includes STAR companies belonging to traditional economic sectors, grew +31% in 2005 and 13.6% during the first part of this year; techSTAR, the index covering STAR companies in the technological sector, with an increase of 46.5% in 2005, continues this trend, up  13.7% from the beginning of the year.


Milan, 1 March 2006

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