FTSE tech listings hit all-time high since dotcom bubble

Moonpig is among a group of newly-listed tech stocks

London’s blue-chip market indices now host more technology companies than at any point since the aftermath of the dotcom bubble after a resurgence of listings. The FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 combined feature 26 technology and consumer internet firms, or 7pc of the total, according to figures from the London Stock Exchange.

This is the highest level since 2000, when the likes of Lastminute.com, Marconi and Logica were among Britain’s most valuable companies.

Technology firms in the FTSE 350 numbered 28 in 2000, but fell to 18 the year later and nine in 2002 as the internet bubble popped.

This year, six new companies have entered the group, including newly listed Darktrace, Trustpilot and Moonpig. It comes ahead of proposed listing reforms that could allow companies such as Deliveroo, The Hut Group and Wise to enter the premium segment of the stock exchange, a condition of entering the FTSE.

Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, has sought to encourage more technology companies to list in London. UK funds have endured billions in outflows this year, a phenomenon that has been partly blamed on a lack of exposure to high-growth internet stocks.

The Financial Conduct Authority is currently consulting on new rules that would allow companies with dual class shares, which grant substantial control to company founders, to enter the premium segment. Deliveroo, The Hut Group and Wise all use the arrangement, which is also increasingly popular among US technology companies.

The FCA is also considering relaxing free float rules, allowing companies to float a small percentage of their shares.

The number of tech firms in the FTSE 350 has risen from 16 in 2018 to 26 today. It sits at a 20-year record despite the acquisitions of companies such as Arm in 2016 and Worldpay and Zoopla in 2018. The only ever-present member across the two decades has been business software group Sage.

Last week, Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said that the City’s “stuffy” institutional investors were partly behind tech start-ups being cautious about listing in London.

Ms Dorries has called for a “cultural change” among investors, who treat the tech industry “with suspicion, or balk at the amount of change the industry is driving”.

She said the UK has “cracked start-ups” with £13.5bn raised in venture capital in the first six months of this year, more than all of 2020.

“Now it is time to go big and begin pacing the way for a generation of British tech titans,” she added.

The UK’s tech firms have benefitted from the glut of start-up funds, but shaky listings for companies such as Deliveroo have led some to suggest that businesses should seek to list in America instead.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *