According to recent press reports, the UK Treasury intends to open a consultation on new powers that could see companies blocked from listing on UK stock exchanges in certain scenarios.
The consultation is expected to cover a proposal that the UK government be able to block a listing if it thinks a foreign state is attempting either to undermine the stock exchange’s reputation or to steal state secrets.
Commenting on these proposals, Nick O’Donnell, Corporate partner at Baker McKenzie in London, stated that:
“There is a risk that very wide powers based on loose concepts of ‘national security’ could backfire.”
“An outcome that meant well-run, quality companies shy away from seeking a listing because of concerns that they would be caught up in global politics would not be a win for anyone.”
The consultation is set to be launched by the UK Treasury in the “coming weeks” and further information will be provided here once it does.