On Thursday, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) issued a discussion paper in relation to the trading of both unlisted shares and those listed only on the London Stock Exchange’s alternative investment market (AIM). This follows a ministerial statement on 20 February this year by Ed Balls, the then economic secretary to the Treasury, in which HM Treasury indicated its desire to remove outstanding obstacles to open competition in the sphere of AIM trading, subject to review by the FSA.
UK equity market services provider PLUS Markets Group (PMG) welcomes the release of the FSA discussion paper. “We believe this pro-competitive step is in line with the UK Government and European commission policy, in seeking to increase choice and competition in the equity trading marketplace,” comments Jamie Whitehorn, general counsel and director of regulatory strategy, PMG. “Subject to market consultation in order to find the right detailed regulatory regime within which competition can function, this is a welcome step towards bringing down the cost of trading AIM securities, such that all AIM companies can benefit from a lower cost of capital,” he adds.
PMG believes there is clear market demand for a wider range of trading services for AIM securities. It supports the open regulatory architecture which is being created by MiFID and believes that AIM securities should be subject to MiFID’s post-trade transparency regime.