LSE on the up as London floats boost markets


A rise in the number of stock flotations, more  trading and increased investor sentiment boosted the London Stock Exchange during the spring and summe.

The LSE said the amount of capital raised on its markets, which also include Borsa Italiana in Milan, more than doubled from £4 billion to  £9.3 billion in the five months ending August 31.

The number of new issues on its exchanges rose 19% to 63, meaning 2,729 companies were now listed with the group. Trading on its flagship London market rose 5%, although it did fall 7% in Italy.

Xavier Rolet, chief executive, said: “The group continues to make good progress with good operational performance in particular at FTSE, in primary markets, fixed income and at LCH.Clearnet. We are well positioned in a wide range of businesses and in a number of growth markets.

“We have also seen exciting growth from SwapClear as it continues to develop its interest-rate swap-clearing business in the US and elsewhere.”

The market received a fresh boost today when drinks maker Stock Spirits confirmed plans to list its shares in London. The company is the biggest vodka producer in Poland and the Czech Republic, and plans to raise £52 million by selling new shares to pay down debt.

Private-equity group Oaktree Capital Management will remain its largest shareholder following the IPO.

Boss Christopher Heath said: “An IPO is the next logical step to support the company’s ambitious growth plans ... This gives us a great platform to realise our goal of becoming the leading spirits player across the central European region.

“We are extremely excited about this next phase in the company’s development.”

The news came as data from the Office of National Statistics showed the extent of foreign ownership of UK shares with 53.2%, or £935.1 billion, of the UK’s £1.8 trillion stock market now owned by overseas investors. The figures compare with 43.4% in 2010.