The FCA’s recently published Quarterly Consultation includes proposals to:
- make a number of minor changes to the Listing Rules to align the rules with the Code following the Code’s amendment last year. The amended Code applies to companies with accounting periods starting on or after 1 October 2014. The provisions of the Code are supported in the Listing Rules which require premium listed companies to report on the extent to which they comply, or do not comply, with the Code. The consultation proposes amendments to LR 9.8.6R(3) to reflect the Code’s requirement that directors make disclosures relating both to the going concern basis of accounting and to the long-term viability of the entity in the annual financial report;
- remove provisions relating to electronic settlement of premium listed companies’ equity securities following EU regulations requiring relevant securities to be capable of being settled in dematerialised form;
- enhance eligibility provisions applicable to scientific research companies so that companies without a three year financial track record required by LR.6.1.3 are not prevented from qualifying for the modified eligibility criteria in LR 6.1.12R; and
- introduce new, and amend existing, headline codes used by primary information providers when disseminating regulated information. New codes include “Publication of a Supplementary Prospectus” and “Strategy/Company/ Operations Update”.
Impact – if implemented as proposed, the changes to the Listing Rules will assist premium listed companies by aligning certain Listing Rules with the Code. The proposed changes to codes used by primary information providers may also improve the accessibility of regulated information.