In the FCA's 2016/2017 Business Plan, one of the FCA's main priorities was to carry out a review of the structure of the United Kingdom's primary markets in order to ensure that they continue to serve the needs of both issuers and investors. On 14 February 2017, the FCA published two papers as a part of this review.
The first paper, "Review of the Effectiveness of Primary Markets: The UK Primary Markets Landscape", sets out key trends in the United Kingdom's primary equity markets and seeks views from stakeholders on the current split in the listing regime between standard and premium listings, particularly in the context of overseas issuers and exchange traded funds. The paper also discusses how the United Kingdom's markets could better support the growth of science and technology companies and the appetite among stakeholders for debt multilateral trading facilities in the United Kingdom.
The second paper, "Review of the Effectiveness of Primary Markets: Enhancements to the Listing Regime", sets out more developed proposals to enhance certain aspects of the Listing Rules. These proposals involve: clarifications to the premium listing eligibility requirements for commercial companies; changes to the concessionary routes to premium listing; changes to the class tests for premium listed issuers; and changes to the FCA's approach in respect of reverse takeovers.
The FCA has requested feedback from stakeholders in respect of each paper by 14 May 2017. A subsequent policy statement will be published in Q4 2017.