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MPs consider inquiry into London listing rules
MPs could launch a new inquiry into the City of London's listing rules and the scandal-hit commodity companies that threaten to damage London's reputation.

ENRC and Bumi, mining groups with significant international ownership and whose primary assets are outside the UK, are embroiled in damaging fraud investigations that have prompted questions over the rules that allow companies to float on the stock market in London.

ENRC and Bumi are part of a wider collection of foreign commodities businesses that have been lured to London by its flexible listing rules, which allow companies to list on the stock market with a minority of their shares as a free-float.

However, Adrian Bailey, the chairman of the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee said that it was time to examine London's regulations and whether the scandal-hit companies are damaging the City.

Mr Bailey wants the Committee, which will next week launch an examination into the future of Britain's high streets by hearing from the leading trade bodies, to launch a formal investigation.

There are a lot of issues we want to flush out, he told the Financial Times. When a company like [ENRC] is subject to so much international criticism, it hardly reflects well on the authority that listed them.

The UK Listings Authority is also reported to be ready to announce a tightening of entry requirements, including new corporate governance rules.

Shares in ENRC, which is in the FTSE 100, look set to fall further after the oligarchs bidding for the company tabled a lower than expected offer.

The market was braced for a bid of 300p a share ahead of Friday's "put up or shut up" deadline for the consortium, made up of the three founding shareholders and the Kazakh government, which already holds 54pc of ENRC.

However, reports emerged after markets closed that the offer was just 247p a share, a 7pc premium to the share price last month before the consortium announced it might offer for the company.

The miner is currently under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office. Taking the company private could provide a neat exit for all involved, but minority shareholders are likely to be incensed by the low offer.

Kazakhmys, the miner which has a 26pc stake in ENRC, is understood to be happy with how the deal is structured the consortium would pay in cash and Kazakhmys shares, allowing it to raise its free float but not with the price.

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