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Competition and Cooperation among Exchanges: Effects on Corporate Cross‐Listing Decisions and Listing Standards

Thomas Chemmanur, Jie He and Paolo Fulghieri

Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, 2008, vol. 20, issue 3, 76-90

Abstract: In recent years, many European companies have listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), and companies from emerging market countries such as Israel, China, and India have listed not only on the NYSE, but on various other American and European exchanges such as the Nasdaq and the London Stock Exchange (LSE). At the same time, growing competition among exchanges has led to consolidation of the industry through mergers and alliances. In this article, the authors explore the main factors in corporate listing decisions as well as the expected effects on listing standards of both the growing competition and the recent wave of alliances and mergers among exchanges. When choosing an exchange, corporate issuers are likely to consider the listing requirements and reputations of the exchanges, as well as the sophistication of investors who trade on those exchanges and the extent of their knowledge of the firm's industry and business. As a general rule, value‐maximizing companies can be expected to list on the most reputable exchange they can, but may also choose listings (in some cases, dual or multiple listings) on less reputable (typically local) exchanges with more investors who are familiar with the issuer's industry or products. When setting their listing standards, publicly traded exchanges devote considerable attention to finding the optimal listing and disclosure standards, and may consider adjusting them to changes in circumstances. The setting and enforcement of the appropriate listing standards are the main determinant of an exchange's reputation, which in turn determines the kinds of companies that will choose to list on it. Exchanges with the highest listing standards and reputations are likely to work hard to maintain them, while exchanges with lesser reputations will seek to carve out niches by making opportunistic use of lower (though not too low) listing standards while possibly seeking alliances or mergers. But if less reputable exchanges use their lower listing standards (and fees) as a means of competing for listings with other exchanges, this will not necessarily lead to a “race to the bottom” in listing standards. Moreover, a merger between two exchanges is likely to result in a higher listing standard for the combined exchange than for (at least one of) the pre‐merger exchanges.

Date: 2008
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