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London simplifies listing rules to boost city district

London simplifies listing rules to boost city district

Britain on Thursday launched a simplification of stock market listing rules designed to attract more companies and boost the appeal of the capital’s City financial district.

The overhaul, unveiled by regulator the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and set to come into effect on July 29, has also been praised by the UK’s new finance minister, Rachel Reeves.

“The new rules are the biggest changes to the listing regime in more than three decades,” the FCA said in a statement.

“They aim to support a wider range of companies to issue their shares on a UK exchange, increasing opportunities for investors.”

The reform will simplify the regime with a single listing category, while also streamlining eligibility for companies seeking to list their shares in London.

Additionally, it will also eliminate the need for votes on significant transactions and offer more flexibility over voting rights.

Shareholder approval will still be required for major events such as reverse takeovers and delistings.

“The new rules involve allowing for greater risk,” the FCA said, but added that it “believes the changes set out will better reflect the risk appetite the economy needs to achieve growth.”

The announcement came a week after Reeves’ Labour Party won power in a historic vote that ended 14 years of right-wing Conservative rule.

The centre-left Labour Party, which has put growing the UK economy at the heart of its manifesto, won last Thursday’s general election with a sizeable majority.

“The financial services sector is essential to the UK economy and is at the heart of this government’s growth mission,” Reeves said in the FCA statement.

“These new rules represent a significant first step towards reinvigorating our capital markets, bringing the UK into line with its international counterparts and ensuring we attract the most innovative companies to list here.”

London’s stock market is trying to remain a strong global force amid growing competition from European rivals following Britain’s exit from the European Union.

Agence France-Presse