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Our latest Small and Mid-cap Sentiment Index reveals that quoted company directors are feeling vulnerable in relation to their company listings. 

They have expressed their concern at being the subject of a possible takeover bid over the next 12 months, with one in three citing they are “very concerned” or “somewhat concerned” by the prospect of an approach.

In comparison with 12 months ago, one in three also feel more vulnerable to a takeover with almost 10% of those surveyed saying they are now “significantly more” concerned.

Furthermore, as the debate continues over how to improve the attractiveness of the UK’s capital markets, our survey has also revealed that one in six quoted company directors were likely to consider moving their primary listing within the next year. The desire for improved liquidity was the key reason cited by this group, closely followed by better valuations elsewhere, better access to capital and other markets’ better reputation.

De-listing is also a likely consideration for one in seven of the quoted company directors surveyed, reinforcing the ongoing reduction in the number of listed companies on the UK stock market. Bosses said they were turned off by disproportionately high levels of regulation for smaller stocks, as well as a lack of liquidity.

Meanwhile however, optimism over the UK economy has improved dramatically since the last survey in H2 2022, increasing by 52% in H1 2023.

There was also improved optimism towards business prospects over the next 12 months, an expected 10% increase in job growth and a 16.6% in mean expected turnover.

Read our QCA Small and Mid-cap Sentiment Index here

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