MSPs hear project ready to launch

Euronext almost quit stock exchange plan over Brexit

Tomas Carruthers at Scottish parliament

Tomas Carruthers: launch of Scottish Stock Exchange on track (pic: Terry Murden)


Euronext, which will help power the new Scottish Stock Exchange, threatened to quit the project over Britain’s planned exit from the European Union.

Tomas Carruthers, who is leading the steering group Project Heather, told a gathering at the Scottish Parliament last night that Euronext had “nearly walked” over its concerns about Brexit.

Euronext is one of the world’s largest stock exchange operators, covering Belgium, France, Ireland, The Netherlands, Portugal and the UK.

Mr Carruthers courted the exchange for two years and now expects the partners to launch the new Scottish exchange in the latter part of this year.

However, he told MSPs and other guests attending a presentation at Holyrood that Brexit had caused problems in the months up to April last year. Passporting in financial services “is gone”, he said, adding that Brexit “is a mess”.

The launch of the Stock Exchange is now on track and a number of companies are interested in signing up, he said. It has received grant support from Scottish Enterprise and is due to move into its new headquarters in George Street, Edinburgh next week.

One of those attending last night’s event, Paul Atkinson of the Par Equity investment company and head of the Taranata Group, said he supported the project and would be looking at his portfolio for potential candidates.

“Scotland is ready for some further disruption in the market,” he said.

Jamie Hepburn, Minister for the Economy, jobs and Fair Work, welcomed the project and his Tory shadow Dean Lockhart described it as a “valuable addition to Scotland’s financial services sector”. Tavish Scott for the Liberal Democrats said it was in keeping with efforts to present Scotland as a “modern country”.

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