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AIM set for good year after strong showing.

THE Alternative Investment Market (AIM) looks primed for a strong start to 2013 following a robust year in 2012, according to analysis by Deloitte, the business advisory firm.

To the end of November in 2012, there had been 65 admissions to AIM, London's junior stock exchange. Laurence Hedditch, partner at Deloitte in Wales, said: "Although the number of admissions lags behind the comparative periods in 2010 and 2011, which saw 88 and 86, respectively, it demonstrates that there is still a consistent baseline of activity on AIM. If you look behind the numbers there are good reasons to be confident about the market in 2013."

From its peak of 1,694 companies in 2007, each year AIM has seen a reduction in listed companies down to 1,094 at the end of November 2012. However, the rate of decline is slowing considerably year-on-year, with the fall in 2012 so far being just 4% (49 companies).

This is a considerably lower rate than in 2009, when the list was contracting at its fastest, and the number of companies reduced by 16% (257) over the course of the year.

In comparison to these periods of steeper decline, the profile of those companies who left the list in 2012 is different and provides encouragement that the core objectives of the AIM market are being achieved. As at the end of November, of the 113 leavers in 2012, 41 were acquired, 17 were subject to reverse take-over and three transferred to the Main Market.

Those companies which were acquired received an average premium of 53% to their close price on the day prior to acquisition, with only three of the acquired companies being subject to a discount to their share price.

Mr Hedditch added: "During the time of the financial crisis, in the period following the boom in AIM market IPOs, the principal reasons why companies were leaving the list were negative. The situation in 2012 has been very different, with the driving force behind companies leaving the list being transactions which have consistently realised value for shareholders."
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Dec 27, 2012
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