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August 22, 2010

AIM predicted to bottom out at 1,200 companies

The UK’s Alternative Investment Market’s (AIM) 30 month decline will reach its lowest point before the end of the year, with just 1,200 companies listed, and then begin to grow again, Deloitte has predicted.

The financial crisis has caused the number of companies listed on the AIM to drop by almost a third from its peak of 1,694 in December 2007.

Financial data company Hemscott has been reporting quarterly that the top four auditors of AIM companies – Grant Thornton, KPMG, BDO and Deloitte – have been losing clients.

However, Deloitte capital markets director Richard Thornhill said there are indications that when the total number of companies reaches 1,200, the level of activity will rebound and begin to increase again.

Deloitte’s AIM analysis also found that the state of the market this year is much better then in 2009.

“The past six months have displayed positive characteristics compared with those seen this time a year ago, with a definite uptick in the numbers of companies listing,” Thornhill says.

“There has been a steady increase in the levels of activity with [the second quarter] of this year seeing 18 new listings, compared with just eight in the same period last year. This is an increase from the 16 new admissions we saw in [the first quarter.

“This has coincided with the rate of companies leaving the market slowing in recent times, meaning that we may shortly see an end to the long decline in the number of listed companies on AIM.”


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