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London’s stock market is facing the quietest period for listings since the financial crisis. British startups are instead heading to New York and Europe in search of deeper pockets and higher valuations. The immediate cause of the slump is the global pause in share sales after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But the reasons behind the UK’s slide go back further. A string of high-profile flops and snubs has dented investor confidence, the most recent being SoftBank reconsidering whether to bring back UK chip designer Arm to the London market with a partial listing, in light of political upheaval.
Can the City make a comeback?
“Yes,” says Mark Austin, the latest person charged with sprucing up the UK’s listing rules, “but we need to have very bold conversations right now or risk sleepwalking into becoming a mere regional stock market.” In this episode, Austin, a partner at law firm Freshfields, joins Francine Lacqua to discuss plans for reviving the City’s reputation as one of the world’s leading financial centers. Plus, Bloomberg editor Kat Van Hoof explains why a big chunk of the IPO market share disappeared from London in the first place.
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