Thursday 19 November 2020 11:07 am

Treasury launches listings review to lure companies to float in the UK

The Treasury has today launched a review into the rules governing public listings in a bid to lure firms to float in the UK. 

Former British commissioner to the EU Lord Hill will lead the review which is aimed at helping to shape the UK’s financial services industry after Brexit. 

Read more: Tech and the City: Listing rules set for revamp to lure unicorns

Lord Hill will present his recommendations to the government and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) early next year. 

“Helping to improve the climate for raising capital in London is only one part of getting the whole financial ecosystem right, but I hope it is an area where we can make some quick early progress and help show a path forward,” he said today. 

“I am very keen to involve the industry in our work, which is why we are kicking things off today with our Call for Evidence,” Lord Hill added. 

Lots of big tech firms have turned their back on a London float in part because of the tough listing rules. 

Proposals considered by the review include reducing the minimum “free float” requirement for a premium main market listing, which would allow founders to retain greater ownership when they float. 

The Treasury also said it was looking at “dual class” share structures, which have been proposed by the City of London Corporation. Last month it proposed a regulatory review of listings to encourage tech firms to foat where “competition is particularly fierce.” 

The review will also consider rules for secondary listings where companies are listed in other countries with high corporate governance standards. 

Read more: Kazakhstan fintech Kaspi plans London IPO

There are encouraging signs that activity in London’s IPO market is picking up again, with cybersecurity firm Darktrace and Deliveroo both mulling listings next year. 

The review comes a week after the publication of the national security and investment bill, which aims to tighten the rules governing foreign takeovers.