Advertisement
UK markets open in 1 hour 9 minutes
  • NIKKEI 225

    40,097.63
    -11.57 (-0.03%)
     
  • HANG SENG

    16,202.52
    -393.45 (-2.37%)
     
  • CRUDE OIL

    78.31
    -0.43 (-0.55%)
     
  • GOLD FUTURES

    2,124.20
    -2.10 (-0.10%)
     
  • DOW

    38,989.83
    -97.57 (-0.25%)
     
  • Bitcoin GBP

    53,179.36
    +3,000.51 (+5.98%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    885.54
    0.00 (0.00%)
     
  • NASDAQ Composite

    16,207.51
    -67.39 (-0.41%)
     
  • UK FTSE All Share

    4,174.28
    -22.84 (-0.54%)
     

Changing rules won’t solve all the City’s listing problems

Will technical tinkering persuade the next ARM to favour London over Wall Street?  (Luciana Guerra/PA) (PA Archive)
Will technical tinkering persuade the next ARM to favour London over Wall Street? (Luciana Guerra/PA) (PA Archive)

There was much to applaud in the Financial Conduct Authority’s sensible overhaul of listing rules for the London Stock Exchange.

As it admitted in its statement the red tape governing listings over here had come to be seen as “too complicated and onerous.”

No doubt there will be more common sense measures revealed when Jeremy Hunt returns to the subject in his Autumn Statement.

But the acid test remains: will the technical tinkering be enough to persuade the likes of ARM and CRH to favour London over Wall Street in future? The worrying answer is probably not.

There are so many other big issues at play here beyond the scope of the best endeavours of the FCA or indeed the Chancellor. Neither can close the yawning gap in valuations that has made London so unattractive for IPOs compared with rival centres.

Nor, as gambling giant Flutter explained this morning, can they do much about all the marketing and profile advantages that a New York listing can give companies with substantial US operations.

Finally, after seven years of Brexit chaos culminating in the political equivalent of a nervous breakdown last summer and autumn, can they do much in the short term to repair Britain’s damaged brand reputation abroad? That, as much as any fiddly stock exchange rules, still deters many major foreign companies from listing in London.

I hope I’m wrong but I fear it will be some years before London can hope to be once again the go-to IPO destination of choice for the world’s most dynamic new international businesses.