View more on these topics

FCA fast tracks consultation on listing rules ahead of Aramco decision

FCA chief executive Andrew Bailey

The FCA has fast tracked a consultation on proposals to create a new premium listings category for companies controlled by sovereign countries.

The regulator is continuing work on its discussion paper Review of the Effectiveness of Primary Markets, but is bringing forward this particular proposal, while work on the rest of the review continues.

It comes as the UK tries to woo Saudi Arabia to list its state oil group on the London Stock Exchange.

The IPO could value the company at £1trn making it the largest listed company in the world.

It suggests a sovereign controlling shareholder would not be considered a related party for the purposes of the UK listing rules and that controlling shareholder rules would not apply to companies in the new category.

The FCA says it targets companies that may be the subject of major privatisation transactions.

FCA chief executive Andrew Bailey says sovereign buyers are different from private sector individuals or companies in their motivations and nature.

“Regulatory protections for investors lie at the core of the listing regime. However, it is important that these protections remain well-targeted.

“Refining the listing regime in this way would make UK markets more accessible whilst ensuring that the protections afforded by our premium listing regime are focused and proportionate.”

Last month, Royal London Asset Management corporate governance manager Ashley Hamilton Claxton said attempts to bend the listing rules to facilitate the IPO of Aramco are highly inappropriate.

“The rules which regulate the UK’s equity market are designed to ensure the integrity of the London market as a leading global exchange and to protect the interests of minority investors, particularly when there is a large controlling interest in a UK listed firm. These should not be tampered with, no matter how attractive the prize.”

RLAM would lobby against any formal attempts for Aramco to list in the UK, Claxton said.

“If this deal is forced through without adherence to the UK’s listing rules, there is a real danger further listings could emerge where large international firms are able to access UK capital markets without playing by the rules.”


N&P makes a buy-to-let comeback

Norwich & Peterborough Building Society has returned to buy-to-let lending almost two years after it exited the market. It has launched a twoand three-year fixed-rate product, at 5.2 and 5.3 per cent respectively, and a two-year discount BTL offering at 4.85 per cent. There is a 1.5 per cent arrangement fee on all three products […]

More FTBs will enter market in 2014 when funding crisis eases

LSL Property Services group chief executive Simon Embley says the funding crisis that has gripped the mortgage market will begin to ease by 2014, allowing more first-time buyers onto the housing ladder. Speaking at the Building Societies Association annual conference in Birmingham last week, Embley said: “First-time buyers still want to get on the housing […]

East – West divide amongst savers says Tesco

Research shows that people living in the Eastern half of the country have more money saved than those in the West according to Tesco’s Personal Finance’s latest research. The figures show the average savings pot per household in the East is £12,835 compared to £9,553 in the West.


FSCS payments over football star Shearer’s IFA hit £3m

An adviser who was sued by former footballer Alan Shearer has also seen £3m in Financial Services Compensation Scheme payouts to its clients, it has emerged. Kevin Neal Associates, the firm ran by adviser Kevin Neal, was declared in default last February. Former England and Newcastle United star Shearer launched a £9m lawsuit against Neal, […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment