The article entitled 'The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis on Italian SMEs' access to capital markets', written by researchers from the Bank of Italy, is now online.
By examining the characteristics of 88 Italian companies admitted to the AIM Italia market between 2013 and 2019, the article identifies the average profile of a non-financial small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) that decides to list on the stock exchange. This profile is used to estimate the number of SMEs that were potentially more qualified for listing in the period prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The results show that, before the pandemic, there were almost 2,800 non-financial SMEs with characteristics that were amply suitable for listing. By using simulations on firms' balance sheets for 2020 and taking due account of the impact of the first wave of the pandemic, the same type of estimate is obtained for 2021. While the effects of the health crisis reduce this pool of firms by 20 or 25 per cent depending on the benchmark scenario, the number of firms that could list at the beginning of 2021 remains very high. Therefore, it can be assumed that the trend towards stock exchange listing will resume once the COVID-19 crisis is over.