The FSA is asking for industry views on the current UK Listings Regime with a view to a restructure.
In a discussion paper published today, the regulator suggests those securities subject to higher standards should be more clearly separated from directive minimum standards.
It discusses ways to re-label the primary and secondary listings to help market participants understand the obligations on issuers of listed securities.
The FSA says the Listing Regime is a key element of the UK market's success.
It points out London has increased its share of the global initial public offering (IPO) market and the UK continues to attract considerable numbers of overseas issuers.
The paper seeks views on how the Listing Regime can best support the competitiveness of UK Capital Markets, while protecting investors appropriately.
Sally Dewar, the new FSA managing director of wholesale and institutional markets, says: “In an increasingly competitive global environment, we are committed to ensuring the Listing Regime makes a full contribution to the continued international success of UK capital markets while keeping pace with changes in global markets. We welcome a full and open debate on this issue.”
The discussion paper proposes re-labeling primary listing 'tier one listing' and secondary listing and GDRs 'Tier Two Listing'.
Alternatively, it suggests reclassifying secondary listing and GDRs. The securities would continue to be admitted to trading and subject to appropriate EU directive based obligations, but they would not be officially listed by the FSA.
The paper also asks whether there would be greater clarity if primary listed companies were all subject to the same corporate governance requirements, be they UK or overseas issuers.
Currently, overseas companies must disclose whether or not they comply with the corporate governance regime in their country of origin and disclose the significant ways in which their corporate governance practices differ from those in the combined code.
The regulator has asked for comments by 14 April this year and plans to publish a feedback statement in the autumn.
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