FAQs

General

Can I arrange to visit the Exchange to see AIM?

Unfortunately the Exchange is no longer open to visitors. The major attraction for visitors was traditionally our trading market floor, but this was closed in 1986 when 'Big Bang' replaced open-outcry trading with a system of computers and telephones. In addition, the security aspects of operating a visitors' gallery had become too onerous.

Joining AIM

Can a company have its securities traded in currencies other than Sterling on AIM?

Yes, your shares can be denominated and traded on AIM in any freely-available currency you choose.

We like to do things our way. Will being an AIM company mean doing things differently?

Being an AIM company does not alter management's right to manage the business in the way it sees fit. However, as an AIM company you will certainly be subject to a higher degree of scrutiny by the market and the media than you were as a privately-owned company. In general, the board must be prepared to act for a public company and appropriate changes are made to ensure compliance with the AIM rules. The board should turn to the company's Nomad for guidance.

What are the benefits of joining AIM?

AIM offers smaller growing companies from all countries and all sectors all the benefits of being traded on a world-class public market within a regulatory environment designed specifically for them. AIM is a flexible market with a simple admission process that allows more companies to experience life as a public company, and to capitalise on the resulting benefits for their businesses.

Do I need to undertake a fundraising when I join AIM?

No, some of the companies that join AIM choose not to raise funds at the same time. This reflects the fact that companies join AIM for a variety of reasons. Some join in order to get a clearer valuation for their company or to raise their profile with investors, customers, suppliers and the media. Others may already have a strong balance sheet, and want to issue securities at some future point after their admission to AIM. Your Nomad and broker will advise you on fundraising, and on the most appropriate methods of promoting your company's shares to the investment community. They will also be able to provide assistance in pricing your shares.

Can you recommend a Nomad or Broker?

For reasons of independence, we are unable to recommend individual Nomad / Broker firms - however, to begin your selection, you can search for Nomads and brokers who have brought companies from your sector to the market, or look for those with a local presence. 

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Market abuse regulation

What is MAR and why has it been introduced?

MAR is an EU regulation which came into force on 3 July 2016.  The objective of MAR is to ensure market integrity and investor protection.  The regulation will harmonise disclosure requirements applying to issuers across European markets (regulated and multilateral trading facilities).

Does MAR apply to issuers on AIM?

Yes.  MAR includes disclosure obligations and closed period rules that apply to issuers that have agreed to or have been approved for admission to trading on a multilateral trading facility (MTF).  AIM is an MTF and MAR therefore applies. 

What other obligations are there for an AIM company under MAR beyond disclosure and closed period rules?

An AIM company should review MAR so that it understands how MAR applies to it.   AIM companies should note the new requirement to draw-up and maintain a list of all those persons working for them that have access to inside information

Who is responsible for enforcing MAR?

In the UK, the FCA is the competent authority. Its powers as competent authority are contained in Article 23.

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Regulatory landscape

How does London Stock Exchange operate AIM?

London Stock Exchange operates AIM and sets rules for AIM companies relating to admission criteria; ongoing disclosure requirements; classification of corporate transactions; and the suspension and cancellation of securities.  London Stock Exchange also sets the rules for nominated advisers to AIM companies and for Member Firms of the London Stock Exchange, including in relation to the trading of AIM securities.

London Stock Exchange considers all relevant enquiries made regarding the conduct of AIM companies, nominated advisers and Member Firms in respect of their compliance with the rule books and takes action where appropriate.

London Stock Exchange’s remit over AIM companies, nominated advisers and Member Firms does not extend to matters beyond its rule books. Accordingly, matters such as directors’ duties, shareholder rights, prosecution of market abuse cases and fraud fall within the remit of the appropriate authority such as the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or Serious Fraud Office. Further information regarding the remit of London Stock Exchange and that of other regulators and competent authorities can be found here.

Further information about contacting London Stock Exchange’s AIM Regulation team can be found here.

What other statutory regulators or authorities have oversight of AIM companies?

In order to make sure your enquiries receive the most appropriate consideration, it is important that the most appropriate regulatory organisation receives your questions or concerns. Further information regarding the remit of London Stock Exchange and other regulators can be found here. Please find contact details in the below table for the relevant authority: 

 

Regulatory subject area Statutory regulator/authority and contact details:
Market Abuse Concerns about possible market abuse should be addressed to the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) which is the competent UK authority with power to investigate possible breaches of the Market Abuse Regulation. Further information on market abuse can be found on FCA’s website here.
Short Selling The FCA is the competent authority in the UK with responsibility for the implementation and enforcement of relevant EU regulations, such as the EU Short Selling Regulations. Further information may be obtained here.
Company law - such as directors duties, Companies House filings etc The AIM company directly. In the UK, details on how to make a complaint to Companies House can be found here.
Fraud Allegations regarding fraud should be addressed to an appropriate law enforcement agency such as The City of London Police or The Serious Fraud Office
Matters relating to an AIM company’s obligations under the FCA’s DTRs or Prospectus Rules The FCA is the competent authority. Further information about the FCA and the DTRs/Prospectus Rules may be found here.
Takeovers and concert parties Enquiries regarding take overs and concert parties are matters fall under the remit of The Takeover Panel, further information can be found here.
Financial reports and auditing The Financial Reporting Council monitors and takes action to promote the quality of financial reporting and auditing.  Further information can be found here.

 

What is AIM's regulatory status?

AIM is owned and operated by the London Stock Exchange in its capacity as a Recognised Investment Exchange under Part XVIII of the UK's Financial Services & Markets Act 2000 (FSMA 2000). AIM therefore falls within the definition of a Prescribed Market under FSMA 2000 and is subject to the UK market abuse regime. Under the directives that form the EU's Financial Services Action Plan, AIM is not a Regulated Market but instead falls within the classification of a Multilateral Trading Facility (MTF) as defined under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID).

What is the role of a nominated adviser?

The nominated adviser is the key AIM adviser, whose role is different from other advisers to the AIM company. The nominated adviser is a corporate finance firm that has been approved by the Exchange to undertake the role set out in the AIM Rules for Nominated Advisers (a list of nominated advisers can be found here).

Every AIM company must retain a nominated adviser and failure to do so will result in the suspension and ultimately the cancellation of an AIM company’s admission to AIM if a new nominated adviser is not engaged within one month of such suspension (see AIM Rule 1).

The nominated adviser owes obligations solely to London Stock Exchange under the AIM Rules for nominated advisers both at admission and on an ongoing basis.  These obligations include considering issues of appropriateness as well as providing advice and guidance to the AIM company on compliance with its AIM Rules obligations.  

The nominated adviser role does not substitute the AIM company’s primary obligation to comply with the AIM Rules and accordingly, the role of the nominated adviser is to support but not guarantee compliance by the AIM company of its obligations.

What happens to my shares if the AIM company has been suspended?

In such circumstances, you remain a shareholder with all the rights of a shareholder under company law. However, the AIM company’s securities will remain suspended from trading on London Stock Exchange. Notwithstanding suspension, the AIM company remains subject to the AIM Rules.

If the securities of an AIM company are suspended for six months, the securities may be cancelled from trading unless an extension has been granted. As with all the AIM Rules, London Stock Exchange may derogate or provide extensions of time in exceptional circumstances

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