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IPOs


Stock market charts in a Hong Kong street


“We increasingly hear that Jersey holding companies are attractive options for foreign businesses looking to list on a recognised stock exchange”


successful admission to trading of its shares on AIM, and we are currently advising West China Cement on its Hong Kong listing. We are also involved in several listings that are confidential at this stage.” VerrasLaw has also been busy. The Jersey-based firm acted on the listing of Malaysian data centre business CSF Group, which completed in March. CSF’s market capitalisation was valued at £88 million and the offer was over-subscribed. VerrasLaw Partner, Hiren Patel, handled significant elements of the deal and has suggested two more similar listings are likely to follow in the months ahead. James Hill, Partner at Jersey-based legal


firm Mourant, also believes that IPO business is picking up. “We have been involved in the IPO of Engyco which has its holding company in Jersey and is on track for a listing on the London exchange,” he says. “The company is looking to raise about €1bn to acquire solar parks in Spain, and there is a


34 businesslife.je June/July 2010


strong story there. There are also other live IPOs going ahead.”


on the map With the world economy poised for a recovery of sorts, can we expect an increase in the number of foreign domiciled trading businesses choosing a Jersey company as a holding vehicle to register on a recognised stock market? Zhaoan Li, Head of Jersey Finance’s Greater


China Business Development certainly thinks so. “For some time Jersey has been involved in assisting with corporate listings business,” she explains. “It has become a leading location for private equity, real estate, hedge and infrastructure investment opportunities. To date, more than 25 per cent of the 60 Chinese companies listed on the London Stock Exchange, including AIM, are incorporated in Jersey. “We increasingly hear that Jersey holding companies are attractive options for foreign


businesses looking to list on a recognised stock exchange, and we expect this trend to continue this year.” Andrew Weaver, Partner at Jersey-based


law firm Appleby elaborates on why foreign companies would choose a Jersey holding company. “Jersey has very flexible Company Law that is familiar to many investors on the principle exchanges. It is based on English law but is less rigid. If you are going to list in London but don’t want to subject yourself to UK tax laws and regulations, you can retain flexibility by using a Jersey holding company. It is also a big enough jurisdiction for companies to be confident of getting good service and advice. There is also geographical proximity to European exchanges.” While Jersey has had long association with


European exchanges, historically it has had little in the way of a footprint in Hong Kong. However that changed recently when it was recognised as an approved jurisdiction by the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKSE).


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