Stock exchange offers web service for SMEs

The London Stock Exchange has developed a hosted web service to give firms with a small market capitalisation and those listed on the alternative investment market a cost-effective online investor relations presence.

The London Stock Exchange has developed a hosted web service to give firms with a small market capitalisation and those listed on the alternative investment market a cost-effective online investor relations presence.

The offering is primarily designed to help companies meet their obligations under the EU Market Abuse Directive, which requires improved disclosure of information to the market as part of a framework for tackling insider dealing and market manipulation.

Although it is hosted remotely, the IR Web Modules system is designed to fully integrate with a firm's corporate website.

The software lets companies manage content and includes design tools to recreate the look of their existing website. It also features data plug-ins to enable real-time data feeds of information such as share prices, corporate announcements and historical data.

Simon Wilkinson, deputy head of IS solutions at the London Stock Exchange, said IR Web Modules had been developed because many firms with smaller market capitalisations have a corporate website but no investor relations pages, and could not justify the expense of developing a bespoke IR presence.

"The service is based around a content management system hosted by the exchange," said Wilkinson. "Firms give us an extension to their URL which enables us to host it here but mask it back to them."

IR Web Modules was six months in development and went live on 1 September with a handful of firms. It is about to be marketed more widely, with the exchange particularly keen to attract smaller firms that have joined the market in the past nine months.

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