Euronext London gets key UK regulatory approval

LONDON, June 4 (Reuters) - Euronext's London market has been approved as a full exchange by Britain's financial regulator, putting it on a level footing with rivals such as the London Stock Exchange Group and BATS Chi-X Europe.

The pan-European exchanges group said on Wednesday its London market had received Recognised Investment Exchange (RIE) status from Britain's Financial Conduct Authority.

Registration as a full exchange means Euronext London can compete more effectively with rivals for listings and business, as some retail and institutional investors are restricted to trading on fully regulated exchanges.

The approval comes as Euronext, which also operates bourses in Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels and Lisbon, is expected to list on three of its markets in an initial public offering later this month that could value the company at more than 1.5 billion euros ($2 billion).

"With over 6 billion euros of equity securities traded daily on our markets, Euronext London is a logical entry point for international issuers wanting to access the deep liquidity found within our market," Euronext Chief Executive Dominique Cerutti said in a statement.

IntercontinentalExchange acquired NYSE Euronext in a $11 billion deal last year. The U.S. exchange group committed to spinning off Euronext and has lined up a group of European long-term investors to take a 33 percent stake in the firm on its market debut.

($1 = 0.7342 Euros)

(Reporting by Clare Hutchison; Editing by Mark Potter)