Swiss media concern Highlight Communications is considering withdrawing from the Neuer Markt following measures by the German Stock Exchange (Deutsche Boerse) to tighten up procedures and flush out so-called "pennystocks", i.e. shares trading under Euro 1.

According to a survey by Financial Times Deutschland (FTD), seven companies, including Highlight - whose share price has fallen 91.34% since last year - are exploring the option of withdrawing from the Neue Markt unless reforms are introduced soon. The seven firms are from a total sample of 44 of the Nemax 50, which also includes cable network operator Primacom.

"Should it not get better by the middle of the coming year, we will have ourselves newly listed in Switzerland or go to the Smax [exchange]", Highlight's Investor Relations Manager Ingo Matzke told FTD..

The problems facing the Neuer Markt were only too apparent this week. Of the 342 companies listed on this exchange, 29 were trading under Euro 1 on Tuesday, reinforcing calls for the introduction of a delisting system like that of the NASDAQ.

The NEMAX 50 index has lost 52.3% of its value since the beginning of 2001.