Via Financial Times

Nasdaq is planning to raise the fees it charges companies to list on its market, in part to help fund the gleaming Times Square showroom it uses to compete for new customers against its bitter rival, the New York Stock Exchange.

The higher fees would support upgrades to its new site on one corner of the famous location, which houses a state of the art digital broadcast studio, the company said in a regulatory filing. The group also pointed to price inflation and improvements to its online tools as driving the fee increase.

The enhanced premises include a TV studio where the opening and closing bell ceremonies are held, a 10th floor outdoor terrace and a curved video screen which shows pictures of people and companies listing on the exchange.

Nasdaq has continually refurbished its facilities over the years to compete with NYSE’s iconic neoclassical building downtown that opened in 1903 and houses the daily bell-ringing ceremony. Defending its position, Nasdaq said it “provides a tremendous amount of value to our listed companies throughout their entire corporate lifecycle”.

The two exchanges are locked in a fierce battle to secure initial public offerings as they are the only exchanges that launch companies on to the US stock market. One former NYSE executive described the rivalry as a “knife fight”.

$159,000


Nasdaq listing fee maximum

Nasdaq is typically seen as the cheaper option for listing, in comparison with its downtown rival. The largest companies listed on Nasdaq will pay $159,000 to the exchange each year, a $4,000 increase, according to the Thursday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Fees charged to smaller companies and for other types of listings including depositary receipts will also increase.

Column chart of IPO deal value ($bn) showing Exchanges fight for new listings

Lee Shapiro, chief financial officer of Livongo, a digital health start-up that listed on Nasdaq in July, said the facilities were a prominent factor in selecting Nasdaq over NYSE.

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“They make their facilities available to us for investors relations,” Mr Shapiro said. “We’ve done events there in connection with the IPO but also they let us use the space for meetings and our own events.”

Nasdaq has raised $31.4bn across 146 IPOs this year, edging ahead of the $25.7bn raised in 45 listings for NYSE, according to Dealogic data. If Nasdaq’s lead holds through to the end of December it would mark the first year the exchange group has outpaced NYSE since 2012.

High-profile listings on Nasdaq this year include Beyond Meat, the plant-based protein group, and the ride-hailing group Lyft, while NYSE won Uber, one of the most anticipated listings in recent years.