Emerging markets in Central Asia: On the pathway to a London IPO | Fieldfisher
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Emerging markets in Central Asia: On the pathway to a London IPO


United Kingdom

A growing number of Uzbek companies are considering a UK public listing as part of their journey towards greater internationalisation and economic liberalisation.

Uzbekistan's state-owned companies are looking at public listings on the London Stock Exchange as part of their international growth strategies and a state-backed effort to modernise the Uzbek economy.

Trade between the UK and Uzbekistan doubled last year to US$478 million, according to the UK's Department for International Trade – a growth rate the ministry believes it can sustain in the near future with support from UK service providers and trade partners.

The Uzbek Government has made a commitment to privatise a number of state-owned enterprises through IPO, with the first wave of companies that have been identified as ready to tread the path to economic transformation visiting London in June this year.

Opportunities include the chance for greater cooperation between the UK and Uzbekistan in issuing Eurobonds and placement of shares of major Uzbek state-owned enterprises and banks on the London Stock Exchange.

A number of UK financial services providers have expressed interest in supporting the Uzbek government in raising finance at central government level, as well as providing access to capital markets, attracting investment and helping to introduce enhanced asset management for Uzbek entities.

TheCityUK, the industry-led body that champions the UK's financial and related professional services industry, has also said it is keen to strengthen cooperation in terms of developing Uzbekistan's capital market.

Uzbek businesses deemed suitable to consider a London IPO in the foreseeable future include mining, energy and other natural resources companies, airports and automotive businesses.

Regulatory expectations

While London is eager to market itself as an attractive listing venue for international businesses, the London Stock Exchange is acutely conscious of the need to uphold high standards dictated by the UK's strict regulatory environment for public companies.

In particular, the London Stock Exchange is eager to communicate its stringent corporate governance and ESG requirements for companies seeking a London listing.

The UK's listing rules are designed to ensure companies are fully prepared for life on the public markets, while including robust protection for investors – as such, these rules and expectations can take some demystifying for pre-IPO companies, particularly international companies that come from different business cultures.

More information on the UK listing process and requirements and opportunities for companies considering an IPO can be found here:

10 reasons why IPOs are en vogue, and why it might be right for your business | Fieldfisher;
Qualifying for the LSE's Green Economy Mark | Fieldfisher;
The UK Listing Review: Relax and float? | Fieldfisher;
London listings: Time to revisit the traditional IPO? | Fieldfisher.

The delegation of Uzbek companies considering a London IPO was attended by Fieldfisher Corporate Partners Christine Phillips and Nodir Sidikov.

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