Junior exchange AIM “enjoying a new lease of life”

According to new data from Capita Asset Services, there were 42 cash calls by listed AIM firms in February ? raising ?315m and up 43 per cent on the ?221m in the same month during 2013.

This comes on top of ?5.2bn of capital raised on the market in 2014 ? marking a four-year high, and up 52 per cent on the 2013 figure.

The total number of IPOs last year, at 79, was the highest since 2007, with consumer services companies like Boohoo and Patisserie Holdings joining the market as they benefited from improving shopper confidence.

However, it is financial services which have dominated the market so far in 2015 raising ?174m in new and further issues.

Capita said this ?resurgence? in AIM activity looks set to continue for the rest of this year as an increasing number of UK growing companies look to tap the markets.

David Kilmartin, business development director at Capita Asset Services, said: ?AIM has sometimes been overlooked, and on occasion has struggled with volatility and liquidity. But the market?s importance to young and growing firms cannot be underestimated. It provides a vital mechanism for companies to access new capital for further growth, or to provide an exit strategy for founders and private equity investors.?

He added that AIM was ?enjoying a new lease of life? as UK economic strength underpinned demand, especially in the consumer sector.

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?In times of financial turbulence, the IPO market stalls, while cash calls increase as companies look to shore up their balance sheets. In times of growth, companies look to capitalise on strong markets to float, or tap investors for additional cash to invest. This is what we are currently seeing,? he said. ?The first two months of the year have started with a bang, and the market is set to see further demand as agile and fast-growing domestically orientated companies exploit the country?s economic resurgence. By the end of the month, we should see AIM break the ?80bn barrier for capital raised.?

Image: Shutterstock

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