On January 14, the UK Financial Services Authority published DP 08/1 A review of the Structure of the Listing Regime, continuing a long-running consultation that commenced at the end of 2006, as discussed in the December 14, 2007 edition of Corporate and Financial Weekly Digest. The new discussion paper is focused on clarifying the obligations on issuers of various types of listed securities in the UK.
The paper sets out a proposed structure in which securities subject to higher standards will be more clearly separated from directive minimum standards. The proposals include re-labeling Primary Listings (the most stringent form of listing in terms of requirements) as “Tier One Listings” and Secondary Listings and Global Depository Receipts (GDRs) (both only available to overseas companies) as “Tier Two Listing”. Secondary Listings and GDRs would continue to be admitted to trading, but they would not be “Officially Listed”.
The discussion paper explores proposals to relax requirements on UK companies in order to promote a level playing field for both overseas and UK issuers. UK companies are currently only eligible for a Primary Listing and not a Secondary Listing. The paper also seeks views on whether overseas companies should “comply or explain” in respect of the UK’s Combined Code on Corporate Governance.
The deadline for comments is April 14.