Listing in London

London Stock Exchange

London has served the needs of international business for centuries. More companies from around the world come to the London Stock Exchange than to any other market. They come to draw on London's wealth of professional expertise, to raise money, to see their securities more widely traded, and to boost their profile within the international financial community.

In 1996, 52 overseas companies joined the Exchange's official list, taking the total number of foreign companies listed in London to 533. The depth, liquidity and international investment outlook of London's markets enable susbstantial capital to be raised by listing in London, significantly adding to the capital available in the home market of the capital.

The increasing willingness of overseas companies to come to London is no coincidence, since London is highly accessible. As the Exchange is both the United Kingdom's (UK) listing authority and a recognised investment exchange, companies wishing to join the market only have to deal with one regulatory body. The expertise needed to run listing, market supervision and surveillance are all under one management group. Above all, London has a strong international tradition. A variety of securities may be listed in London, including shares, depository receipts, Eurobonds and warrants. For many international companies the Exchange provides the shares or depository receipts listed in London. Companies know that they can raise capital in London - £2.7 billion was raised from initial offers by international companies in 1996.

Emerging markets are increasingly tapping in to what London can offer. Their economies' capital needs are huge and their importance will continue to grow. In the last two years the Exchange has helped to meet those demands by changing its listing rules to permit the listing of Global Depository Receipts (GDRs) in London. GDRs are negotiable certificates that evidence ownership of a company's shares. They are issued on behalf of companies and are marketed internationally to experienced investors. Listing in GDR form helps to overcome the problems associated with equity dealing in emerging markets, such as foreign exchange controls, uncertainty over settlement and difficulties with limits on holdings by foreigners. Since late 1994, 75 GDRs have been listed on the Exchange. By the end of 1996, 53 depository receipts had been listed, raising £6.2 billion. The spread of countries from which they have come is also impressive, ranging from India and Korea to Argentina and the Czech Republic, as companies have realised their effectiveness in meeting capital needs.

In June 1995, the Exchange successfully launched AIM, its new market for small and growing entrepreneurial companies. By the end of October this year, 298 companies had come to the market, raising a total of £1.4 billion.

Exploring and developing this type of new opportunity is one of the Exchange's key tasks. The Exchange is always aware of the need to strike a balance in regulation by giving investors the security they require while not hindering the market. Our regulatory framework is constantly under review to ensure that we are providing regulation which is effective and appropriate.

Twelve companies from central and eastern Europe have listed in London and more are in the pipeline.

  • June 1997 - BTC, Slovenia
  • June 1997 - Zalakeramia, Hungary
  • May 1997 - Lukoil, Russia
  • January 1997 - SKB Banka, Slovenia
  • December 1996 - Tatneft, Russia
  • October 1996 - Gazprom, Russia
  • August 1996 - TVK, Hungary
  • June 1996 - Ceska Sporitelna, Czech Republic
  • April 1996 - Pliva, Croatia
  • March 1996 - Borsodchem, Hungary
  • December 1995 - Bank Gdanski, Poland
  • July 1995 - Komercni Banka, Czech Republic

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