Recent Changes to the Listing Rules

Author:Mr Alex Firth

On 18 October 2001 the board of the Financial Services Authority ("FSA") approved the introduction of the United Kingdom Listing Authority ("UKLA") Guidance manual. The Guidance Manual provides guidance relating to the FSA acting as "competent authority" under and pursuant to the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (the "Act") (i.e. the UKLA). The Guidance manual together with the Listing Rules forms the UKLA Sourcebook. This is also known as the "Purple Book".

A revised version of the Purple Book came into effect on the 15th April 2002.

The principal changes to the Purple Book are:

Rules and Guidance on the dissemination of regulatory information through the newly appointed channels - the "Regulatory Information Services"

There has been a change to the way in which regulatory announcements of listed companies can be disseminated. Previously, they were obliged to issue regulatory announcements by submitting them to the Company Announcements Office, which in turn published the announcements through the Regulatory News Service. However, the FSA wished to open up this area to competition. As a result, companies may now use one of several Primary Information Providers ("PIPs") to disseminate regulatory news.

The following "Regulatory Information Services" are listed in Schedule 12 of the Listing Rules and are FSA approved PIPs:

Regulatory News Service provided by the London Stock Exchange

Newslink Financial provided by Newslink

PimsWire provided by Pims

PR Newswire Disclose provided by PR Newswire

Business Wire Regulatory Disclosure provided by Business Wire

FirstSight provided by Waymaker

Hugin Announce provided by Hugin ASA

The PIPs then disseminate the news to Secondary Information Providers ("SIPs") e.g. Reuters and Bloomberg, who in turn will make the news available to market users.

Rules requiring notification to the market that documents lodged with the UKLA can be inspected by the public at the UKLA's Document Viewing Facility

A new rule 9.32 has been inserted into the Listing Rules. The Document Viewing Facility ("DVF") has been introduced in respect of documents required to be sent to the UKLA under Rule 9.31. Rule 9.32 imposes an obligation on companies to notify the market (without delay) that these documents are available for inspection at the DVF. Previously companies were only required to send two copies of the relevant document to the UKLA under Rule 9.31.

New guidance on Rule 3.6(a)

Rule 3.6(a) and 3.6A relate to the...

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