2015 “worst year” for AIM as new issues on junior index drop

Last year saw the lowest number of IPOs since 2009 and the biggest net decrease in listings since 2012

The Alternative Investment Market (AIM) had its “worst year” for new issues since 2009, according to research from accountancy group UHY Hacker Young.

There were 39 initial public offerings (IPOs) made on AIM last year, raising roughly £600m. This figure is as marked decrease on the 85 IPOs made on AIM in 2014.

The analysis also found that the total number of companies listed on the London stock market dropped by 52 in 2015; the biggest net decrease in listings since 2012.

UHY Hacker Young said the junior market had struggled due to a decrease in new issues, the departure of Chinese businesses after nominated advisers (nomads) withdrew support, and the loss of mining and oil and gas companies.

The London Stock Exchange (LSE) has confirmed that AIM had a “difficult” 2015 but has reported that the amount raised in secondary issues by existing businesses (£4bn) is a 27% increase on 2015.

Laurence Sacker, partner at UHY Hacker Young, commented:

“In the last year, AIM’s strengths have proved to be its weakness. The success of AIM has long been built on its appeal to mining and oil and gas companies and its attraction for many Chinese companies seeking to raise capital and gain a market for their shares. But a collapse in oil, copper and iron prices and the slowdown in the Chinese economy have made 2015 a tough year for AIM.”

The LSE has said: “For a growth market like AIM, the ability of existing companies to come to the market for fresh funds is almost more important than the number of IPOs.”

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