The introduction to the Emerging Stock Market

The Taipei Exchange (TPEx) established the Emerging Stock Board (ESB) in the year of 2002, which originally aimed to address the problems with illegal trading of private stocks. Nowadays, ESB has developed as a preliminary market before IPO, playing an important role in the capital market. Registering on ESB can help companies to become familiar with laws and regulations related to the securities market, to raise their profile and visibility, and to discover reasonable share prices in IPO procedures. Moreover, ESB helps nurture emerging enterprises with good potential in the way of incorporating with advisory role of recommending securities firms. With the required advising and counseling during registration period, the ESB companies make improvement in the quality of their internal control system and compliances.

In support of the innovative industry, especially for the companies in the early stage of business with difficulties in capital raising, TPEx leverages its ample experience and expertise in assisting small-and-medium enterprises or emerging industries and is ready to launch a new stock board in Q3 2021. The new board is named the Pioneer Stock Board (PSB) and will form the Emerging Stock Market (ESM) together with the existing ESB. With the addition of PSB, the TPEx multi-tiered market structure will be more complete. The market structure shows as below:

The market structure

Note1: Solid lines indicate the original TPEx Main board listing procedures, which have not changed; dotted lines indicate the new procedures brought by the establishment of PSB.

Note2: Before applying for TPEx Main board listing, the PSB companies are required to transfer to ESB and remain as ESB companies for at least 2 months (In total, the registration period on the Emerging Stock Market should be at least 6 months, in which the period on PSB also counts).

 

Either for applicants of PSB or ESB, there are no requirements on capital size, duration of corporate existence and financial threshold. However, according to the Securities and Exchange Act, enterprises must complete the public issuing retroactively before applying for registering on ESB, while simplified public issuing procedure is adopted if they choose to register on PSB. Simplified public issuing procedure refers to simplified documentation filings, which can be summitted to TPEx together with PSB registration application, aiming at reducing the preliminary costs and time for the enterprises going public. In addition, the information disclosure obligation of the PSB companies is prudently simplified compared to those for the ESB companies. The innovative enterprises will find registering on PSB favorable for them in their journey to the capital market.

A comparison between ESB and PSB:

Item Pioneer Stock Board(PSB) Emerging Stock Board(ESB)
Registration criterion No requirements on duration of corporate existence, profitability, and shareholding dispersion.
Applicable industries Registrants shall be from one of the "Six Core Strategic Industries" (Note 1) or other innovative industries (Note 2). No specific industries
Review procedure
  • The application for PSB registration and filings for simplified public issuing can be submitted to TPEx at the same time.
  • Documentation review.
  • Issuers should complete public issuing procedure before applying for registration.
  • Documentation review.
Advisory recommending securities firm(RSF)
  • Registrants must have written recommendations by two or more advisory recommending securities firms (one of which is designated as the lead RSF and the others are co- RSFs).
  • The RSFs must subscribe for the registered common stocks of the issuer at the amount of 2% or above, and no less than 200,000 shares.
  • Registrants must have written recommendations by two or more advisory recommending securities firms (one of which is designated as the lead RSF and the others are co- RSFs).
  • The RSFs must subscribe for the registered common stocks of the issuer at the amount of 3% or above, and no less than 500,000 shares.
Restriction on investors Exclusively to qualified investors (Note 3). A natural person who is a qualified investor should sign a Risk Disclosure Statement. None
Trading mechanism
  • Automatic matching and execution system incorporated with liquidity providers acted by recommending securities firms
  • Daily price fluctuation limit set at 20%, except for newly registered companies on their first five consecutive trading days
  • Negotiated trading based on prices quoted by recommending securities firms
  • No daily price fluctuation limit

Note1: Six Core Strategic Industries refer to (1) information and digital industries, (2) cybersecurity industry which can integrate with 5G, digital transformation, and national security, (3) biotech and medical technology industries, (4) national defense and strategic industries, (5) green and renewable energy industries, and (6) strategic stockpile industries.

Note 2: The lead advisory recommending securities firms shall be responsible for assessing and judging if a registrant meets the registration criterion, i.e., whether the registrant is in one of the Six Core Strategic Industries or other innovative industries.

Note 3: Criterion for qualified investors:

  1. Professional institutional investors, high net worth corporate investors, juristic persons or funds that meet specific requirement on total assets and sufficient professional knowledge in financial products, and trust enterprises, as defined under Article 3 of the Regulations Governing Offshore Structured Products.
  2. Legally incorporated venture capital enterprises.
  3. Natural persons with 2 or more years of experience in securities investment and meeting one of the following criteria:
    1. net assets of NT$10 million or more, or
    2. average annual income of NT$1.5 million or more over the last 2 fiscal years.