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UK's Hunt to allow private companies to trade shares on exchanges - FT

Published 02/03/2024, 00:17
Updated 02/03/2024, 10:45
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: British Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt speaks at the Resolution Foundation, in London, Britain December 4, 2023. REUTERS/Hollie Adams/File Photo

(Reuters) -British finance minister Jeremy Hunt is drawing up plans to allow UK private companies to offer shares on exchanges, the Financial Times reported on Saturday.

The Private Intermittent Securities and Capital Exchange System (Pisces) would act as a crossover between public and private markets allowing for some liquidity in the shares of private companies without the regulatory burden of a public listing, the FT said.

Investors would be able to sell stakes on a limited number of days under proposal to be included in next week's budget

"This is a ground-breaking proposal for a new market that will help private companies to scale up and will boost the pipeline of future IPOs in the UK," a Treasury source told Reuters.

The system would require approval by the Financial Conduct Authority and could start later this year, the FT said.

The idea for Pisces was announced in 2022 as part of Hunt's reforms to make the City of London more attractive to investors as it battles New York for listings.

Companies would not be allowed to raise new capital through Pisces and retail investors were not expected to be permitted to buy shares using the system, the FT said, citing an unidentified official.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: British Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt speaks at the Resolution Foundation, in London, Britain December 4, 2023. REUTERS/Hollie Adams/File Photo

Separately, Hunt on Saturday unveiled the next leg of the compact aimed at partly reversing the decades-old trend of pension funds opting for safe government bonds that typically have lower returns than more risky start-ups.

Pension schemes in Britain will have to disclose by 2027 how much they invest in UK assets, the finance ministry said.

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