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UK Should Copy NY’s “Blank Cheque” Deals After Brexit Says LSE

 |  January 31, 2021

Britain should replicate New York’s “blank cheque” listings to boost London’s appeal as a global financial center after Brexit, London Stock Exchange (LSE) Chief Executive David Schwimmer said.

After cementing its US$27 billion acquisition of data and analytics company Refinitiv on Friday, January 29, the LSE is likely to play a central role in keeping Britain’s huge financial services sector competitive after its departure from the European Union, reported Reuters.

This has cut the City of London adrift from its biggest customer and facing listings competition from Amsterdam, where the bulk of euro share trading in London moved on January 4.

“SPACs (Special Purpose Acquisition Companies) clearly have taken off in the U.S. markets. There is increasing curiosity and potential interest in seeing more of them here,” Schwimmer said.

Paris and Stockholm are already focusing more on SPACs, so-called blank cheque companies, that raise funds in an IPO with the aim of buying a private firm. They became the most popular investment vehicles on Wall Street last year.

A government-backed review of Britain’s listing rules will make recommendations next month to help London compete better with New York in attracting tech company floats.

“We do think there are opportunities in the UK listings regime to make some changes that would make us a more attractive listing regime while maintaining high standards of corporate governance,” Schwimmer told Reuters.

“I think London will continue to maintain its status as a global financial capital.”