James Moore: Good riddance to the firms that are only out to soak us

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The Independent Online

Outlook Cheerio then, ENRC, and please don't leave the door open on your way out. The "more Soviet than City" natural resources company is gone from the London Stock Exchange, and good riddance. It ended its six-year spell as a London listed company with its shares languishing at less than half the level at which they made their debut. Insult was added to injury yesterday with yet another lacklustre set of results.

If there's one good thing to come from the whole sorry affair, it is that regulators have woken up to the damage this lot, and the similarly awful Bumi, have done to London's reputation.

In response, they have tabled proposals designed to strengthen the rights of minority investors in companies with large shareholders while pledging to take a more jaundiced view of firms seeking to list with a free float of less than 25 per cent of their shares.

That didn't provoke a terribly positive reaction from the Institute of Directors, which frets that such a regulatory backlash may make certain companies reluctant to list in London. Quite. If the rules result in an end to the Bumis and ENRCs of this world seeing London as an easy place to soak investors, that would be a thoroughly good thing.