UK to propose powers to block London listings that pose security risks

Chancellor of the Exchequer Sunak visits Hartlepool
FILE PHOTO: Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak stands near a mask prop during a local election campaign visit to Northern School of Art in Hartlepool, Britain, April 30, 2021. REUTERS/Lee Smith/Pool

May 26, 2021

(Reuters) -The UK is set to unveil stricter rules for companies going public on the London Stock Exchange, allowing the listing of companies to be blocked on national security grounds, the treasury department said on Tuesday.

The department said it will launch a public consultation in coming months as part of the plan.

“The UK’s reputation for clean, transparent markets makes it an attractive global financial centre. We’re planning to bolster this by taking a targeted new power to block listings that pose a national security risk, and will launch a consultation to inform its design in the coming months,” a treasury spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

The statement comes after finance minister Rishi Sunak said earlier this year that Britain will modernise its listing rules to attract more high-growth company and blank cheque flotations.

Earlier in March, Britain’s financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, said Britain will use its freedom from European Union rules to regulate markets flexibly and make the City of London even more attractive to global investors.

Sunak’s move to block London stock listings on security grounds was previously reported by the Financial Times.

(Reporting by Akriti Sharma and Radhika Anilkumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Leslie Adler and Dan Grebler)