ESMA Allows "Up To" Listings of Global Depositary Receipts for New Shares

June 21, 2012

The European Securities Markets Authority has issued guidance allowing “up to” or “block” listings of global depositary receipts (“GDRs”) to be used for newly issued shares without the need to publish a fresh prospectus. Since April 2011 the UK Listing Authority (“UKLA”) has operated a more restrictive policy towards GDR block listings, effectively requiring a new prospectus to be published whenever an issuer with a GDR block listing issued new shares, regardless of the amount of “headroom” available under its block listing. ESMA’s guidance, which we expect the UKLA will follow, is effectively a reversion to the approach that existed before the UKLA’s shift in policy.