THE Irish Stock Exchange is in talks with US counterparts to make it easier for companies to list in Ireland and the US as officials in Dublin try to stop the flow of companies defecting from the Dublin exchange.
The Irish exchange already has an agreement with London's Alternative Investment Market (AIM) to reduce red tape for companies that want a listing in both countries. Companies listed on either exchange don't need two sets of lawyers and accountants to get a second listing on either exchange. This means that it is possible for an Irish company listed on AIM to get an ISE listing for less than €10,000.
Following the success of the agreement, which has helped companies such as oil explorer Fastnet to list in Dublin and London, the ISE is now in talks with other exchanges to make it easier for dual listing.
ICON, the clinical trials giant based in Dublin, said recently that it planned to quit the Irish exchange and focus on the Nasdaq because a primary listing on the US exchange would attract new investors.
"Irish companies can currently list on the ISE and London's Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in one process for minimal incremental cost," an ISE spokesman said.
"The Irish Stock Exchange is exploring whether it can implement similar arrangements with other exchanges to facilitate companies that wish to list on more than one market.
"If implemented, these arrangements would benefit Irish companies which may require access to other stock markets, such as those close to their business and customer relationships, in addition to the Irish market."
Media reports said yesterday that Bloxham Stockbrokers, one of the seven stockbrokers that own the ISE, may see its share of the exchange written off for good.
The shares were owned by what was once Ireland's oldest stockbroker until it ran into problems six months ago.
Bloxham liquidator Kieran Wallace is still looking to agree some sort of deal to preserve the value of Bloxham's stake in the exchange, which is valued at around €6m, the reports added.