ARTICLE | Finance

Caveat emptor in London

February 5, 2001 8:00 AM UTC

OXFORD - The Financial Services Authority, a government watchdog overseeing the London Stock Exchange main list, is planning to modify its listing rules to bring Britain in line with other European stock exchanges, in particular Germany's Neuer Markt. Over the last two years, the total money raised in German biotech IPOs has outpaced London by 198 percent ($815.8 million in Germany versus $273.7 million in London), leading to concerns by U.K. companies and investors that overly restrictive listing rules in London are to blame.

The FSA plans to remove requirements that biotech companies must have achieved at least one of four significant commercial milestones in order to list on the LSE (see "Biotech Milestones"). Instead companies would be required to disclose their development in terms of one of these criteria...