London is moving to revive its reputation as a financial centre

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Part of the problem, analysts say, is that the London Stock Exchange is dominated by companies from older sectors, such as banking, mining, oil and gas. Britain has struggled to attract listings for technology companies and major flops have compounded the problem. Deliveroo, a London-based food delivery company, went public in 2021 and has been called “the worst IPO in London’s history.” (Its shares are down 63% from their peak.)

“The rule change that’s happening right now says we need to make ourselves much more attractive to technology companies, particularly to startups, particularly to companies that don’t have a long track record of profitability,” McCubbin said. These are companies that are based on “what the next 10 years will be like, not what the last 10 years have been like.”

But consultants warn that companies considering an IPO in New York must have a natural connection to the U.S. market to benefit from trading there. Flutter, for example, generates more than a third of its revenue in the United States. Otherwise, investment fund managers would have little incentive to focus on smaller British companies over those that are larger and more relevant to Americans.

The slowdown in London’s offerings is part of an industry-wide shortage that has persisted for more than a year amid high interest rates, conflict and geopolitical uncertainty. According to the London Stock Exchange Group, just 16 companies went public in New York last year, down 84% from 2022; by comparison, 10 companies went public in London, a decline of 88%.

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