Alternative Investment Market

AIM (formerly the Alternative Investment Market) is a sub-market of the London Stock Exchange, allowing smaller companies to float shares with a more flexible regulatory system than is applicable to the main market.

AIM launched in 1995 and has raised almost £24 billion (thousand million) for more than 2,200 companies. Flexibility is provided by less regulation and no requirements for capitalisation or number of shares issued. Some companies have since moved on to join the Main Market, although in the last few years, significantly more companies transferred from the Main Market to the AIM (The AIM has significant tax advantages for investors, as well as less regulatory burden for the companies themselves). In 2005, 40 companies moved directly from the Main Market to the AIM, while only two companies moved from the AIM to the Main Market.

AIM has also started to become an international exchange, often due to its low regulatory burden, especially in relation to the Sarbanes–Oxley Act (though only a quarter of AIM-listed companies would qualify to list on a U.S. stock exchange even prior to passage of the Sarbanes–Oxley Act). As of December 2005 over 270 foreign companies had been admitted to the AIM.

The independent FTSE Group maintains three indices for measuring the AIM, which are the FTSE AIM UK 50 Index, FTSE AIM 100 Index, and FTSE AIM All-Share Index.

Read more about Alternative Investment Market:  Regulatory Model, Market Capitalisation, Trends

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