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Plus500 sets course for main market after crypto surge and record quarter

Broker and spreadbetting company Plus500 has announced that it is applying for all its shares to be admitted to the London Stock Exchange main market.

The company, which is currently listed on the Alternative Investment Market (Aim), is announcing this move only a few weeks after revealing record-breaking first quarter results in which its pre-tax profit increased by 418 per cent compared to the first quarter last year.

The Israel-based company owes much of the current prosperity to the ever-increasing cryptocurrency craze which is gaining more and more mainstream attention.

Read more: Plus500 shares soar as revenues rocket on the back of crypto trading fever

Although still currently on the Aim, it has surpassed its two main spreadbetting rivals IG Group and CMC which are both listed on the main market, establishing itself as the UK's largest online Contracts For Difference (CDF) broker.

Asaf Elimelech, chief executive of Plus500, said: “Since our Aim IPO in 2013, we have grown the business many times over and become a more mature business in governance, regulatory and reporting terms.”

“We therefore believe now is the right time to seek the listing to help further our ambitious global growth plans.”

Plus500 and the spreadbetting sector as a whole has faced clampdown from both the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the European Securities and Market Authority (ESMA) in the last couple of years to restrict the sector.

In December last year ESMA said it would put a complete ban on binary trading products, essentially a yes-no bet, and wanted to drastically reduce CDF leverage. News of the clampdown made Plus500's shares plummet by 10 per cent.

When a company is listed on the main market, there is more regulation it must adhere to than when listed on the Aim. Most significantly, the main market is regulated by the FCA as opposed to Aim which is regulated by the London Stock Exchange. This means that companies are more closely observed and there is a need for more transparency.

Elimelech said: “The recent announcement of regulatory changes to the CFD industry by ESMA has also ensured that the framework in which we operate is now the clearest it has ever been.”

“We believe that the listing and our shares being traded on the main market will provide a number of benefits for shareholders, including increasing the company's profile and status, providing currency for growth and facilitating potential inclusion in the FTSE indices.”

Read more: Plus500 to sideline Atletico Madrid if football is ruled offside

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