NewsCorp Must Choose Between US and Oz Stock Index

25 June 2004

You can't have your cake and eat it, is the message to News Corporation from US credit ratings agency Standard and Poor's over the media company's proposed dual listing both on the New York and Sydney stock exchanges. This would have endowed NewsCorp with a double weighting in S&P's Global 1200 index.

After aiming for the best of both worlds to coincide with a move from Adelaide to Delaware in the US, Rupert Murdoch's company now has to choose its preferred stock exchange – a tough decision and one which is likely to leave shareholders up in arms.

Even the proposed complete overhaul of the ASX 200 by the Australian stock exchange was rejected by S&P. The suggested restructuring involved two separate indices, one with and one without NewsCorp, and could have prevented its departure from the index.

As the largest company on the Australian stock exchange and making up 7% of the ASX 200, major investors would have to sell stock (of A$30 billion ($20.8bn; €17.2bn; £11.5bn) funds) should News Corp favour the New York listing. Although A$40bn may then be transferred to alternative ASX stocks, investors could lose out by having to sell below-value stocks.

It remains to be seen which way the wind will blow as NewsCorp claims the Australian listing undervalues it on US markets. But local media journalist (and one-time NewsCorp board electoral candidate) Stephen Mayne, highlights the dangers of moving the listing to New York.

"It [the NewsCorp proposal] will be voted down because it's not in the interests of Australia, not in the interests of the market and not in the interests of the institutional investors. Rupert already runs it like it's a private company and the move to Delaware will only entrench that."

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff