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The London market needs a plan to avoid irrelevance, not endless consultations

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Will the last company to leave the London Stock Exchange please turn out the lights?Actually, the position is not – yet – as bad as that.

Building materials group CRH, which, at £31.7bn, is the 19th largest company in the FTSE 100 index, said it will be heading for the exit but its reasons for planning to switch its primary listing to the US aren’t silly.Three-quarters of CRH’s revenues are in the US these days and it is probably only sensible to try to appear more American when the US is spending squillions to upgrade its infrastructure.

In any case, CRH’s links to the UK market aren’t deep. It is an Irish company that moved its primary listing to London as recently as 2011.In similar fashion, other escape plans haven’t been created on a whim.

When mining giant BHP tired of its clunky dual-headed Anglo-Australian corporate structure in 2021, unifying down under was logical: the company is Australian by history, culture and operations.Ferguson, the company called Wolseley for most of its life, had deeper British roots but, like CRH, its US business had become dominant.

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