HC Deb 04 March 2002 vol 381 c111W
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the proposed EU Prospectus Directive, with specific reference to the impact of this directive on the regulatory burden and costs of listing on non-recognised investment exchanges. [40252]

Ruth Kelly

It is not possible to list securities on a 'non-recognised investment exchange', but I assume that my hon. Friend's question relates to AIM and OFEX.

The admission of securities to trading on AIM and OFEX does not currently trigger requirements in terms of the Listing Particulars Directive (which would be repealed by the Prospectus Directive). The Prospectus Directive, as drafted, would stipulate that the admission of trading of securities to trading on a regulated market would trigger a requirement for a prospectus. AIM is currently a regulated market but OFEX is not.

However, the position in respect of both AIM and OFEX could change depending on the changes made to the definition of 'regulated market' in the new Investment Services Directive.

Three aspects of the prospectus Directive, as drafted, could give rise to additional costs for companies that seek or obtain admission to trading on AIM: the precise content requirements of both the registration document and the full prospectus; the approval process for prospectuses; and the provision for mandatory shelf registration.

We take very seriously the possibility that the Prospectus Directive might increase the regulatory burden for UK companies. But it is not possible at this stage of the negotiation to calculate the cost implications for companies whose securities are admitted to trading on AIM and OFEX.