City A.M. understands that Genel, which has a standard listing on London’s main market and Petroceltic, which is expecting to move from Aim to the main market next month, both see their Kurdistan assets as a key sticking point for the UK Listing Authority (UKLA), due to a long-running dispute between the region and Baghdad over an oil export ban.
The two firms hope that Kurdistan’s first oil shipment into Europe will help convince UKLA that their assets have been de-risked and finally give them the green light.
Companies with a premium listing have to meet higher corporate governance standards, which typically gives them wider access to bluechip investors.
Genel said it “remains in active discussions with the UKLA about moving to a premium listing”.
UKLA declined to comment.