Aim market on the road to recovery

ACTIVITY on the Aim market is picking up after a year of lingering in the doldrums, new research has shown.<br /><br />Companies on the London Stock Exchange&rsquo;s junior market will have raised around &pound;3.6bn by the end of the year if the steady flow of fundraisings continues, a survey of institutional investors by stockbroking firm Arbuthnot shows.<br /><br />The figure would be 12.5 per cent above the &pound;3.2bn raised on the market during 2008, after the collapse of US banking giant Lehman Brothers in mid-September sent Aim into a deep downward spiral.<br /><br />Almost &pound;2.6bn has been raised on Aim so far this year via secondary share issues, including a bumper July which saw &pound;808.6m raised on the market, the strongest month for fundraisings since December 2007.<br /><br />&ldquo;This robust activity in Aim&rsquo;s secondary market is a reflection of the Aim community&rsquo;s long-term support for small and mid cap companies,&rdquo; said Marcus Stuttard, head of Aim. &ldquo;SMEs will be central to economic recovery and dynamic public markets like Aim, where companies can raise equity finance to fund their growth, will continue to support and drive entrepreneurial activity.&rdquo;<br /><br />The Aim All-Share index has jumped 60 per cent since January, from 404.96 to 647.64 at Friday&rsquo;s close.