Mercado Alternativo Bursátil/Alternative Stock Market (MAB) for expanding companies

The Spanish Alternative Stock Market (MAB, by its Spanish initials), is an organized multilateral trading system for buying and selling shares. It is addressed, mainly, to medium sized companies and also small startups which are increasing in terms of revenues or potential.

The Collective Investment Institutions (in Spanish IIC for Instituciones de Inversión Colectiva) and Venture Capital Companies (in Spanish ECR for Entidades de Capital Riesgo), have specific rules that not concern us in this entry.

This market is created in a free way, according to the regulations of the Securities Market Act (LMV in Spanish) and under the supervision of the CNMV (like the SEC in USA).

The requirements for accessing the MAB are governed by the General Rules of the MAB and its Circular 5/2010, regarding the rules applicable to the inclusion and exclusion in the MAB for expanding companies.

Companies that want to trade its shares in the MAB must be a limited company by shares (SA in Spanish), whose share capital has to be fully paid and its shares must be freely transferable. Therefore, if there are statutory limitations on the the buying and selling of shares these limitations should be removed. In addition, the shares need to be represented in book-entries.

It is also important to note that the trading in this market implies the duty to comply with certain standards of accounting and finance. In compliance with these standards, each company is allowed to choose between various options:

i) Companies from the European Economic Area (EEA) can choose between IFRS (in Spanish NIIF) or accounting standards of the Member State.
ii) Companies not from the EEA can choose between IFRS or US GAAP.

Regarding the turnover there isn’t a specific minimum, but companies with the aim to access in the MAB should be developing relevant operations either selling products or services or fundraising to sell. If the company has less than three financial years of existence must submit their forecasts for the current year and the following.

Finally, companies incorporated in the MAB requires its members to make public the shareholders’ agreements.