Everything You Need To Know About The SIX Swiss Exchange

Everything You Need To Know About The SIX Swiss Exchange

Switzerland has long been home to one of the most active financial markets in Europe. The SIX Swiss is the primary stock exchange of Switzerland and despite a relatively modest lineup of listings, the exchange is home to some of the largest companies in the world. The likes of Nestle, Roche, and Novartis, are all listed here.

Here are some quick facts about the SIX Swiss Exchange:

  • The exchange was founded in 1850 as the “Zurich Stock Exchange” and was renamed in 2008
  • The exchange is home to around 250 companies from Switzerland and around the world
  • The exchange has a free-float market capitalization of around CHF 1.4 trillion

SIX Swiss is an important part of the country’s economy, while also providing a gateway for other European companies to get access to more capital and exposure. SIX Swiss is one of four major stock exchanges in Europe, alongside the London, Frankfurt, and Euronext exchanges. 

"We are currently investing approximately approximately 1 million swiss francs per working day in innovative infrastructure projects" - Jos Dijsselhof

The exchange does not have a trading floor and operates under a fully automated electronic trading system. The exchange is regulated by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA). 

10 Things You Should Know About The SIX Swiss Exchange

  • SIX Swiss is owned and operated by the SIX Group, which is a consortium made up of 120 financial institutions
  • The exchange was renamed the SIX Swiss Exchange in 2008
  • The exchange is open Monday to Friday, from 06:00 to 22:00 (CET)
  • SIX Swiss is known for its rigorous listing requirements, which are some of the strictest in the world 
  • The exchange has a separate segment for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), called the "SIX Swiss Exchange-SME”
  • The SIX Group also owns and operates “Bolsas y Mercados Españoles”, or BME, which operates stock exchanges in Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao, and Valencia
  • The SIX Swiss Exchange has a market data platform called "SIX iD," which provides real-time and historical data on listed instruments
  • The exchange has a dual-listing agreement with the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, allowing companies to list on both exchanges simultaneously
  • The SIX Swiss Exchange is a member of the European Energy Exchange (EEX) and the European Wholesale Gas Markets (EFET)
  • In 2020, the SIX Swiss Exchange launched the world's first fully digital structured product marketplace, called the "SIX Digital Exchange”

What Are The Listing Requirements On The SIX Swiss Exchange?

The SIX Swiss Exchange is known for its stringent controls and regulations for companies seeking to obtain a spot on the exchange. Some of the requirements companies need to meet include:

  • To qualify for a primary listing, companies must have a minimum equity of CHF 2.5 million and an aggregate free float market capitalization of at least CHF 25 million - representing at least 20% of the total outstanding shares
  • For foreign companies seeking secondary listing, they must have a minimum circulating share capital of CHF 10 million
  • Audited financial reports in accordance with IFRS standards for the past three business years
  • Consecutive operational history of at least three years 
  • The company must comply with the Swiss Code of Best Practice for Corporate Governance
  • The company must comply with all relevant laws and regulations, including those governing securities trading and disclosure

Corporate governance requirements for primary listings:

  • Must publish a corporate calendar covering at least the current year
  • Must provide a notice of change in the rights attached to listed securities
  • Must disclose transactions made by members of management
  • Must provide up-to-date ad hoc publications
  • Must comply with the Directive on Information relating to Corporate Governance

Corporate governance requirements for secondary listings:

  • Must submit a confirmation from the primary exchange 
  • Must publish any price-sensitive information according to the regulations of the primary exchange
  • Must publish all relevant information promptly and in accordance with the regulations set by the exchange

How Does The SIX Swiss Exchange Make Money?

As a for-profit exchange, SIX Swiss generates revenues through a few different sources, such as listing fees and trading commissions. Some important revenue streams include:

  • Trading fees - the exchange charges fees for every buy and sell transaction that takes place 
  • Listing fees - companies pay one-time listing and annual membership fees to the exchange
  • Clearing and settlement fees - SIX Swiss charges fees for its clearing services
  • Market data - companies pay fees for the real-time market data provided by SIX Swiss
  • Derivatives trading and clearing fees - the exchange also offers derivatives trading and clearing services, for which it charges percentage fees per transaction

SIX Swiss Listing & Other Fees

  • Listing processing fee of CHF 3,000
  • Variable charge of CHF 10 per CHF 1 million in market capitalization (not exceeding CHF 80,000)
  • A non-recurring charge of CHF 10,000 for first time listings
  • Listing prospectus examination fee of CHF 5,000
  • Annual basic charge of CHF 6,000 levied against each security category
  • For first time listings, the annual variable charge is CHF 10 per CHF 1 million in market capitalization (capped at CHF 50,000)

These are a handful of listing fees charged by SIX Swiss, which generates a bulk of its revenue through trading and market service fees. 

SMI Index

The SMI Index is the benchmark index of the Swiss stock market. The index is managed by the SIX Swiss Exchange and is composed of 20 of the largest components listed on the exchange. 

What Is The SMI Index?

The SMI Index is a market capitalization-weighted index that tracks the performance of the 20 largest companies listed on SIX Swiss. The SMI Index was launched in 1988 with a base value of 1,500 points, and it is calculated using a free-float market capitalization-weighted methodology. 

The constituents of the SMI are reviewed twice a year and changes are made based on their market capitalization, liquidity, and other criteria. The index is also adjusted for corporate actions such as stock splits, dividends, and mergers.

Weights of the components of the SMI Index are capped at 20%, which ensures that no single component can tip the balance of the index in its favor.

SMI Index Sector Weighting & Largest Constituents

Health Care40%
Consumer Goods24%
Basic Materials2%
Oil & Gas0%
Consumer Services0%

A bulk of the SMI’s weight is attributable to the health care, financial, and consumer goods industries. The index is home to multinational corporations, such as Nestle, Novartis, UBS, Richemont, etc. 

SPI Index

The SPI is another important index that tracks the broader Swiss public markets, as the index includes over 200 constituents from a variety of industries. 

What Is The SPI Index?

Similarly to the SMI, the SPI is a free-float market capitalization-weighted index. The index tracks over 200 public companies listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and is frequently updated to reflect the changes in market capitalization and liquidity of its constituents. 

The SPI index was launched in 1987 with a base value of 1,000 points and has since become one of the most important benchmarks for the Swiss economy. 

As opposed to the SMI, the SPI includes a large number of mid-cap stocks and provides a more well-rounded view of the Swiss stock market. 

SPI Index Sector Weighting

Health Care32%
Consumer Goods27%
Basic Materials2%
Oil & Gas0%
Consumer Services1%

Much like the SMI, the SPI is also primarily represented by its constituents from the health care, financial, and consumer goods industries. 

Swiss Digital Exchange (SDX)

The Swiss Digital Exchange, or SDX, is a digital asset exchange platform created by the SIX Swiss Exchange. The launch of SDX has been delayed several times and is still under development. The exchange is designated to provide a regulated exchange ecosystem for a wide range of digital assets, such as cryptocurrencies, security tokens, digital bonds, etc. 

Part of SDX’s services includes non-custodial staking for cryptocurrencies, as well as institutional custody for crypto and related digital assets. 

"The idea of SDX is to bridge the existing world of how you deal with securities with the new world of digital assets. And we are doing that very much from a customer's perspective by supporting the customer to take that step from the traditional world into the new world." - Simon Streule

The exchange will be able to safely store and transfer crypto assets in a cost-effective manner and will be equipped with all relevant security measures to ensure the safety of client accounts and transactions. 

Key Takeaways From Everything You Need To Know About The SIX Swiss Exchange

  • SIX Swiss is the primary securities exchange in Switzerland and is home to roughly 250 companies
  • The exchange is known for its stringent listing requirements and advanced trading systems
  • The Swiss Digital Exchange, or SDX, is a regulated digital asset exchange that is being developed by the SIX Swiss Group
  • The SMI and SPI are two of the most followed indexes of the Swiss stock market - with the former tracking the top 20 companies by market capitalization, and the latter tracking all constituents of the exchange
  • SIX Swiss has bilateral agreements with a number of other exchanges, including the London and Frankfurt stock exchanges

FAQs On Everything You Need To Know About The SIX Swiss Exchange

How many stocks are on the SIX Swiss?

The SIX Swiss Exchange is home to a total of around 250 component companies. The top 20 participants are tracked by the SMI Index. 

What is the biggest stock on the SIX Swiss Exchange?

Nestle (SWX:NESN) is the largest company listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange. The company has a market capitalization of over CHF 300 billion. 

Is SIX Swiss the only stock exchange in Switzerland?

Yes, SIX Swiss is the only stock exchange in Switzerland and is located in Zurich. The exchange does not have a physical trading floor and is fully digital.