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NASD CHAIRMAN CITES CONTINUING TREND OF EQUITY FUNDING FOR COMPANIES; 'THE CLIMATE HAS NEVER BEEN BETTER FOR FINANCING GROWTH COMPANIES'

 WASHINGTON, Sept. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Fredric M. Roberts, chairman of the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. (NASD), and head of the Los Angeles-based investment banking firm of F.M. Roberts & Co., today predicted continuing strength in equity financing for the nation's growth companies.
 "The climate has never been better for financing growth companies," Roberts told a summit of 2,500 business leaders gathered in Washington for the World Economic Development Congress. Roberts, who co-chaired the Growing Companies Summit, noted that $27 billion raised via initial public offerings for the first seven months of 1993 exceeds that raised for all of 1992.
 The World Economic Development Congress brings together the world's private and public sector leaders to exchange ideas on building sustainable and profitable growth in the increasingly integrated global economy. A distinguished list of speakers including Dr. Henry Kissinger, President F.W. de Klerk of South Africa, NBC's Tom Brokaw, David K.P. Li of the Bank of East Asia, as well as more than 175 chief executive officers of major multinational corporations addressed the gathering.
 "In the past few years, we've seen companies return to equity capital as a tried, true and cost-effective means of financing growth. Contributing to this development is the institutionalization of growth stock investing through mutual funds. With portfolio managers scrambling for ways to give investors greater returns, there has been a proliferation of growth stock funds. This has generated a substantial increase in the pool of capital available to growth companies."
 Roberts pointed to The Nasdaq Stock Market, which is operated by the NASD and which is home to most of the nation's growth companies. Over the past decade, he said, more than 3,600 Nasdaq companies have raised $67 billion through initial public offerings.
 "You know the names," Roberts said. "Microsoft, Intel, Sun Microsystems, Amgen, Ben & Jerry's, U.S. Healthcare, Novell, Seagate, and Legent Corporation. Every one of those companies provide jobs for thousands of men and women. Yet, just 20 years ago, not one of them existed. But growth companies are more than job factories -- they are the heartbeat which pumps life into the entrepreneurial dream. They give the nation much of its vitality and vision."
 Roberts said "excessive" government regulation often hindered economic growth, and expressed optimism that Vice President Gore's "Reinventing Government" plan will streamline federal oversight. He also called on the government to eschew protectionism, maintaining that "America's growth companies need open markets to succeed."
 The NASD is the securities industry's largest self-regulatory organization. It owns and operates The Nasdaq Stock Market, the world's second largest securities market.
 -0- 9/24/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Roberts' comments are available via fax by calling 202-728-8955./
 /CONTACT: Robert Ferri, 202-728-8955, or James D. Spellman, 202-728-8197, both of the National Association of Securities Dealers/


CO: National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. ST: District of Columbia IN: FIN SU: ECO

DT-IH -- DC009 -- 5356 09/24/93 10:53 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 24, 1993
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