On 29 April 2013, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published changes to the Listing Rules (LRs), most of which were set out in draft in the consultation paper (CP) 12/27 released in October 2012.

Here is a summary of the new changes which came into force on 1 May 2013:

  • the LRs have been amended to require a premium listed company to appoint a sponsor when it is required to submit a supplementary prospectus or supplementary listing particulars
  • the requirement for a depositary that issues global depositary receipts (GDRs) to be a suitably authorised and regulated financial institution acceptable to the FCA has been deleted from the LRs. This is not a requirement under the Prospectus Directive and the FCA considered in CP 12/27 that it is sufficient to rely on disclosure to provide an appropriate degree of investor protection
  • the requirement that depositaries issuing GDRs must hold rights and monies relating to shares on trust (or under equivalent arrangements) for the benefit of GDR holders is deleted from the LRs. Again, in CP 12/27, the FCA considered that this is not a requirement under the Prospectus Directive and it imposes a higher standard than the market requires. In place of this requirement, depositaries issuing GDRs will need to maintain arrangements to safeguard certificate holders' rights, and
  • minor amendments have been made to the definition of 'sponsor service' in the LRs to bring the definition into line with the meaning given to the term in the FCA Handbook glossary. In addition, the definition of a 'sponsor service' specifically includes all the sponsor's communications with the FCA in connection with that service.