EBRD adds Czech Republic to SME equity research

The Czech Republic has joined the list of countries that are covered by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)’s equity research programme for “outstanding central European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).”

The programme, known as the EBRD Research Coverage Programme, is supported by the TaiwanBusiness – EBRD Technical Cooperation Fund and provides free equity analysis on a dedicated research hub at www.listed-sme.com.

The first Czech company to participate in the programme is the beverage manufacturer Kofola ČeskoSlovensko, which is listed on the Prague Stock Exchange.

The newly-published analyst report was provided by Wood & Company, an investment bank specialising in emerging markets..

EBRD’s director of capital and financial markets development Alex Pivovarsky said: “When a medium-sized company lists its shares on a stock exchange, we would expect it to attract new capital to support its growth and development.

“At the same time, investors need independent analysis of the company to make more informed decisions about their investment. Many SMEs lack regular research coverage, even though it could bring very good returns.

“Thanks to the Listed SME Research Hub, potential investors around the world can read external opinions about the performance of a number of SMEs.

“We hope this platform will contribute to the development of the equity investment culture in the economies where we invest and encourage further initial public offerings over time.”

The EBRD Research Coverage Programme was launched in central Europe in 2019.

Currently, it provides equity research coverage of 21 selected companies listed on the stock exchanges in Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia, and now also the Czech Republic.

Prague Stock Exchange CEO Petr Koblic said: “It is great that we can involve our companies in the Research Coverage Programme.

“Transparency is crucial for liquidity and I firmly believe that offering a wider range of research to individual firms will have a positive impact on their liquidity.

“Another added value is the fact that the research is available completely free of charge to any investor or prospective investor in a particular company.

“The availability of quality information for informed investment decisions is therefore increased.”

The EBRD resumed investment in the Czech Republic after the bank’s board of directors approved a request by its government to help with recovery from the coronavirus pandemic in 2021.

The re-engagement is temporary, and will be limited in scope and focus on the private sector.