On September 25, the UK Financial Services Authority (FSA) (in its capacity as the UK Listing Authority) published the Listing Rules Sourcebook (Amendment No 3) Instrument 2009 making changes to the UK Listing Rules. This is the conclusion of a review of the UK listing regime started by the FSA in January 2008 (as reported in the January 18, 2008, and December 5, 2008, editions of Corporate and Financial Weekly Digest).
The effects of the amendments are as follows:
- The most notable change involves providing two categories under which companies can obtain a UK listing: Premium and Standard. A company with a Premium Listing will have to comply with requirements exceeding those set out under the relevant EU directives. Companies with Standard Listings will be required to comply with the minimum EU standards.
- Overseas companies which have a Premium Listing will be required to comply with the UK Combined Code on Corporate Governance or explain any failure to comply.
- Overseas companies which have a Standard Listing will be required to comply with the EU Company Reporting Directive.
- The Standard Listing segment will become available to UK companies for the first time as well as overseas companies.
In addition, the process for companies with an equity listing wishing to move from one segment to another has been simplified by the FSA clarifying that a cancellation of listing is not required.
The changes will take effect on April 6, 2010—except for the change which permits UK companies to have a Standard Listing, which takes effect on October 6, 2009.