Various factors have contributed to this trend. The wide availability of other sources of finance – such as private equity companies –, which are less strictly regulated and not as costly as a stock exchange listing offer firms attractive alternatives. Despite the currently generally favourable situation for companies seeking additional capital, adjusting the regulatory framework to facilitate initial public offerings (IPOs) is still to be recommended. To name but one good reason, typical investors in equity, such as banks and insurance companies, have withdrawn from the stock exchanges in recent years, depriving young dynamic companies wanting to go public of their investment capital. Encouraging IPOs, and thus reversing the downward trend in company listings, would not only benefit financing of enterprises but also widen the options for private investors seeking to provide for their retirement.