The U.K.'s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) launched a consultation on Thursday on proposing rule changes designed to facilitate listings by companies that are controlled by sovereign.
The initiative, which targets large privatizations, would provide investor protections, but the existing restrictions on controlling shareholders and related parties would not apply to a sovereign shareholder.
"Regulatory protections for investors lie at the core of the listing regime. However, it is important that these protections remain well targeted. Refining the listing regime in this way would make U.K. markets more accessible whilst ensuring that the protections afforded by our premium listing regime are focused and proportionate," says Andrew Bailey, CEO of the FCA, in a statement.
"Sovereign owners are different from private sector individuals or companies — both in their motivations and in their nature. Investors have long recognized this and capital markets are well adapted to assess the treatment of other investors by sovereign countries," he adds.
The FCA notes that a broader review of its listings regime, which was launched earlier this year, remains a work in progress.