This day in history: Swissquote announces plans to go public

Maria Nikolova

Some 17 years ago, Swissquote unveiled its plans for an IPO on the SWX New Market.

To say that time flies is a piece of trivia – but it is good to see that some businesses did not waste their time and managed to make the right move at the right time and create history. Some 17 years ago, what is now a major provider of online trading services – Swissquote, was planning to make its first steps in the public market.

On March 30, 2000, Swissquote published a press release, stating its intention to enter the SWX New Market before the summer of 2000. The company back then stated the importance of its brokerage services and online financial data delivery. The IPO was seen as a way to finance the rapid development of Swissquote’s services in Switzerland and abroad.

On May 28, 2000, Swissquote announced the public shares offering was oversubscribed several times, with the issue price fixed at CHF 250. Shares started trading publicly on May 29, 2000 under the symbol SQN.

The total volume of the IPO of 410,000 registered shares amounted to CHF 100 million.

The development of Swissquote has been extremely rapid after that. What follows are some highlights of Swissquote’s history of achievements post-IPO but the account is far from exhaustive considering the scale of the company’s operations and variety of offerings.

In October 2000, the Swiss Federal Banking Commission granted Swissquote Bank a banking and securities dealer license. In May 2001, Swissquote Bank went online.

Amid the years crucial for the expansion of the Forex business was 2010, as Swissquote acquired ACM Advanced Currency Markets AG. Talking of expansion, we cannot skip mentioning the deal with MIG Bank in September 2013, which saw Swissquote acquire a 100% holding in MIG Bank, thus bolstering its positions in banking and FX.

In May 2012, Swissquote beefed up its derivatives trading offering by launching the Swiss Derivatives OTC Trading System (Swiss DOTS), in partnership with Goldman Sachs and UBS. New issuers have joined the platform since – for instance, Commerzbank did so in September 2014 and Deutsche Bank joined in October 2015. The most recent addition is Vontobel.

Regarding the launch of new products and services, the company has been always active but the rate has increased over the past couple of years. In 2015, Swissquote was the first Swiss bank to roll out a mobile application for Apple Watch. In September that year, the company unveiled the launch of its Themes Trading Service, which has seen substantial development since its initial rollout. In 2016, Swissquote launched an Apple TV app, again reiterating its commitment to the development of novel technologies. The company is now looking into the future by venturing into the world of virtual reality.

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