The main objective of this master thesis is to assess the development of the Danish stock market over the twenty-year period 1992 - 2012. The thesis examines the recent development characterised by a net decrease in the number of listed companies. Based on relevant theoretical contributions on stock market development, the thesis analyses the development throughout four explanatory pillars: Corporate governance, financial intermediaries, macro economic factors and the tax system. Sweden is used as a benchmark in order to get an in-depth understanding of the development of the Danish stock market. The choice of Sweden as a relevant peer has been made as the country has experienced a strong increase in the number of listed companies since 1992 and due to the country’s resemblance with Denmark in other aspects. The analysis reveals many similarities between the two countries in terms of corporate governance and financial intermediaries. Both countries have seen an increase in the awareness of corporate governance issues with the implementation of national corporate governance codes. Further, the financial intermediaries appear highly developed in both countries. On the other hand, relevant macro economic factors highlight significant differences between the two countries. Most notably, a difference is observed between the turnover, liquidity and bid-ask spreads of the two stock markets, a trend that is most distinct among the smallest stocks on the two exchanges. The analysis of the Danish and Swedish tax systems also reveals interesting differences. While the Swedish tax system has given investors a strong incentive to invest savings in stocks, the Danish investors have faced higher taxes and an extraordinary complex tax system. The main conclusion is that there have been noteworthy differences in the incentives to participate actively in the stock market. The differences have primarily affected non-professional investors, which might be seen as an explanatory cause for the remarkable lower activity in the smaller Danish stocks. Furthermore, it can be concluded, that while the listed companies on one hand have seen a decreasing interest from investors, they have on the on the other hand been facing increasing corporate governance requirements by investors. Hence the thesis finally concludes that the net delisting on the Danish market most likely is a symptom of lower incentives for companies to be listed on the exchange.
|Educations||MSc in Finance and Accounting, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis|
|Number of pages||116|