Brexit Should Leave LSE Worried for Future Listings, Irish Say

  • Irish Stock Exchange pitches for more European flotations
  • U.K. politicians fight to retain London as a financial hub

The U.K.’s move to leave the European Union should cause London Stock Exchange Group Plc to fear losing business to Ireland and other European markets, a senior executive at the Irish Stock Exchange said.

“I would be worried if I was in the London Stock Exchange in a post-Brexit environment because the European investor base is very, very significant,” Aileen O’Donoghue, the ISE’s director of strategy said in an interview with broadcaster RTE on Tuesday. “Having the capacity to have a listing on a European regulated market as we are, to passport into Europe, to access those European investors, is really very important.”

Aileen O’Donoghue

Photographer: David Levenson/Bloomberg

O’Donoghue’s comments indicate that competitors hope Brexit will give them a chance to win business from the LSE, which has long been the leading European market. The LSE warned last year that trading volumes may fall as a result of the British departure, while U.K. lawmakers, including Prime Minister Theresa May, have made the case that the U.K. will remain a financial hub.

London has long been a magnet for overseas companies seeking access to a deeper pool of money. Irish building materials company CRH Plc has shifted its main listing to London, while companies including DCC Plc and Greencore Group Plc have quit the Irish bourse entirely in recent years. Some 20 initial public offerings on the LSE raised 1.83 billion pounds ($2.4 billion) in the first quarter of 2017, compared with 18 new issuances and 1.79 billion pounds in the year-earlier period.

“Dublin is pretty unique as it’s the only English speaking, common law exchange that is part of the euro zone,” O’Donoghue said, adding that the Irish Stock Exchange is “quite optimistic about the future.”

A spokesman for the LSE declined to comment.

— With assistance by John Detrixhe

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