Will Ireland’s experience in banking help us?

UK companies are beginning to explore options such as secondary listings in the EU

 Eoghan Murphy has been to London to advance the State’s case to replace London as the home of the European Banking Authority. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Eoghan Murphy has been to London to advance the State’s case to replace London as the home of the European Banking Authority. Photograph: Dave Meehan

 

We’ve become all-too-used to Irish companies ditching Dublin for the bright lights of London and, more to the point, its stock exchange.

Smurfit Kappa moved its main listing to London last year, following the example of CRH a few years ago. Others, such as DCC and Greencore have downright quit the Irish Stock Exchange.

But Goodbody Stockbrokers’ head of corporate business in the UK, Piers Coombs, who was hired last year from Canaccord Genuity, says the trend may be reversed in the coming years as UK-listed companies weigh the impact of Brexit.

Coombs tells Cantillon that UK companies, particularly in the mid-caps FTSE 250 space which Goodbody has really gone after in the past year, are beginning to explore options such as secondary listings in the EU. This is because it remains unclear what kinds of barriers may be raised in the Brexit talks that would make it more difficult for London-listed companies to raise capital.

Goodbody said on Monday it had been appointed corporate broker for UK gaming firm Playtech, securing its first such role for a FTSE 250 company that doesn’t have any Irish connections.

UK referendum

He will have a willing ear in Irish Stock Exchange (ISE) chief executive Deirdre Somers, who has long bemoaned that Ireland Inc isn’t engaging in a concerted effort to win business from the City of London following the UK referendum.

The ISE recently launched a marketing campaign to promote Dublin as a place for UK-listed companies to establish quotations in order to maintain a European gateway.

Cantillon’s sure that Somers didn’t have Eoghan Murphy, the Minister of State for Financial Services, in mind when she was calling out reticent types. Taking to the State not once, but twice, a financial forum for international bankers in Dublin last week, Murphy recounted his recent tour of Hong Kong and Beijing trying to drum up some business.

He flew into London on Monday to advance the State’s case to replace London as the home of the European Banking Authority, which was established in 2011 as part of Europe’s response to the financial crisis. Well, you can’t say Ireland, home to Europe’s biggest banking bust-up, hasn’t thrown plenty of work the EBA’s way. Wonder if that’s in the pitch?

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