On 26 November 2021, JER EXC updated on trading including legal changes.
- JER EXC board of directors issued update on recent trading and outlook for 2021.
- Board is reviewing options for the return of capital to shareholders during 2022.
- Draft finance bill 2022 has changes which may impact new, possibly existing, listings.
- Follows UK Treasury November 2021 publication of finance bill 2021-22.
- Main changes relevant are: the new qualifying asset holding companies (QAHC) regime and removal of the listing requirement for UK REITs owned by institutional investors.
- Whilst it remains optimistic prospective UK legislative changes will not severely impact listing volumes and revenue, the position is unlikely to become clear until legislation comes into force in April 2022 and a further update will be provided soon thereafter.
- Under bill, UK resident companies who meet certain eligibility tests can elect for QAHC.
- And may no longer need to list on exchanges in order to be entitled to Quoted Eurobond Exemption (QEE) from UK withholding tax on interest payments in the UK.
- Not possible to know how many issuers will meet eligibility criteria or elect for QAHC.
- JER EXC is engaging with the professional advisor community to better understand the practical application of the QAHC regime in advance of its introduction in April 2022.
- Rather than seeking to rely on the unknown and untested QAHC regime, issuers may still benefit by availing of the QEE; this established route provides the highest level of certainty, combined with a cost-effective and expeditious listing service from JER EXC.
- Where at least 99% of ordinary share capital of the company is held by institutional investors, shares may no longer need to be listed on exchanges to qualify as UK REIT.
- JER EXC's share of listed UK REIT market is likely to contract sharply from April 2022.