An Overview of European Stock Exchanges

Posted by WALTER WILLEY - Jan 15, 2019

Audit Analytics offers a suite of data products covering European companies. With comprehensive databases of Audit Opinions, Audit Fees, Auditor Tenure, Key Audit Matters, and Transparency Reports, we track over 6,000 companies listed on exchanges across all 31 countries in the EEA and Switzerland.

We’ve written a handful of posts over the past few months highlighting certain aspects of this data. In this post, we’ll look at some very high-level descriptive statistics of the population as a whole. (All of the data in this analysis is based on fiscal 2017 audit opinions.)

First, let’s look at the fiscal year ends of European companies.

Unsurprisingly, 78% of companies listed on a European exchange have a fiscal year end in December. 6% of the companies have their fiscal year end in March, followed by 4% in both June and September. The remaining 8% of fiscal year ends are evenly spread across the other eight months.

Next, we’ll look at how long it takes companies in various countries to issue their annual financial statements. The following chart, again based on 2017 audit opinions, shows the average number of days (by country of exchange) between the companies’ fiscal year ends and the signature date on their audit opinions.

As you can see, the range varies greatly between countries. In Finland, auditors sign the opinion, on average, in less than two months (52 days). In Cyprus and Latvia, at the other extreme, auditors take an average of 120 and 112 days, respectively, to sign the opinion.

Now let’s look at where companies are headquartered relative to the exchange on which they’re listed. In the table below, we show the percentage of companies that are headquartered in the same country as the exchange they are listed on.

In nine countries, 100% of the companies listed on the exchange are headquartered in the same country. In all but five countries, over 90% of the companies listed on the exchange are headquartered in that country. 85% of companies listed on the Oslo Bors are headquartered in Norway, 81% of companies listed on the Bourse de Luxembourg are headquartered in Luxembourg, and only 79% of companies listed on the London Stock Exchange are headquartered in the United Kingdom (not including the Crown Dependencies).

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