USM companies to be spared most of cost of full listing

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The Independent Online
MORE than 240 companies now listed on the Unlisted Securities Market will be able to move up to a full listing at less than a 10th of the present cost under new rules published by the London Stock Exchange yesterday.

The exchange is expecting that most companies will take the opportunity before the abolition of the USM in 1996.

Under the new Yellow Book listing rules and USM rules, unlisted companies will be able to transfer to a full listing for pounds 5,000- pounds 10,000. Applying for a full listing from scratch costs on average between pounds 150,000 and pounds 200,000, and in a recent case reached pounds 300,000.

The changes implement a recent amendment to the European Union listing particulars directive.

Companies that have traded on the USM for at least two years and have not issued any new securities will be able to apply for listing through an exempt listing document rather than full listing particulars.

To qualify for the cheap transfer, companies must publish their exempt listing document within 42 days of signing off a set of unqualified accounts. They will then be freed from producing statements of working capital or indebtedness.

The exchange is also waiving the initial listing fee for companies moving up from the USM.

Nigel Atkinson, head of listing at the exchange, said: 'The rules are particularly good news for the many smaller companies which want to move up to the official list before the USM closes.

'The exchange lobbied hard in Europe to make sure that second market companies would benefit from the amendment to the directive.'

Companies making the transition will need an approved sponsor.

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