Accountancy group UHY Hacker Young said 20 companies floated on the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in the three months to Sept. 30, while 16 delisted. This was the first time more had joined than left since the third quarter of 2007. “More companies are again looking at an AIM initial public offering as an opportunity for growth,” said Laurence Sacker, Partner at UHY Hacker Young. AIM’s attractiveness to UK retail investors has been boosted by the government’s decision earlier this year to allow AIM stocks to be included in individual savings accounts (ISAs) – popular tax-free products – for the first time. The research showed 56 companies joined AIM in the 12 months to the end of September, raising a total of 881 million pounds ($1.42 billion) – up 70 percent on the previous 12 months. The overall value of companies listed on the AIM market was 67.7 billion pounds as of August, according to data from the LSE, down from a peak of 97.6 billion pounds in 2007. Stronger equity markets have helped revive new listings in Europe after years of subdued activity due to the financial crisis, with London one of the busiest destinations. Separate data from Ernst & Young over the weekend showed that, when the LSE’s main market is also included, more than 3 billion pounds has been raised from London listings so far this year, double the amount raised in the whole of 2012. Sacker said next year also looked busy for AIM, but the market is still a way off returning to previous levels – in the 12 months to Sept. 30 2007, 8.8 billion pounds was raised by AIM IPOs. “The deal pipeline is looking healthy. 2014 could turn out to be a real bounce-back year for AIM, although getting back to the level of new listings we saw during the boom years remains a pretty remote prospect,” he said.
Football Thursday: Can ‘Madden’ video game do more to help NFL in London than the Jaguars?
finance regulator recorded its largest month of fines in more than a decade in September, buoyed by a 137.6 million-pound ($221.2 million) penalty against JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) over the London Whale debacle. Industry fines totaled 169.5 million pounds last month and brought total penalties from the Financial Conduct Authority in 2013 to 339.5 million pounds, according to statistics published today by Wolters Kluwer NV (WKL) , Europe s largest tax and legal publisher. The year-to-date total is larger than any other full year since 2002. The regulator fined JPMorgan as part of a probe into losses exceeding $6.2 billion on a derivatives position built by a trader who came to be known as the London Whale because his bets were so large. The past year has also seen the regulator punish banks embroiled in the scandal over rigging of the London Interbank Offered Rate, or Libor. The FCA is endeavoring to keep up with the international trend towards greater levels of fining and is continuing the trajectory started in the U.K. by the Financial Services Authority in its latter years, said Barnabas Reynolds, a London lawyer at U.S. law firm Shearman & Sterling LLP. The FSA became the FCA in April this year. FCA fines increased considerably last year hitting 313.4 million pounds at the end of 2012 compared with 66.1 million pounds in 2011.
It explains the game and its complicated rules and strategies. For years, “Madden” has been making a generation of Americans more sophisticated about the nuances of football by allowing kids who never put on a helmet to experience playbooks and defensive schemes. It’s slowly starting to do the same in London. “Once you learn the Xs and Os you learn a lot, it’s a strategic chess match,” said Gillen, the student from Ireland. EA Sports, “Madden’s” developers, don’t have definite numbers of its penetration into the UK. “We know we have a solid fan base there,” said Seann Graddy, the “Madden NFL 25” line producer. NFL players and coaches are going to hate this. There is nothing easy about traveling to London for American football teams. Players arriving last week talked of long overnight flights with little sleep. While Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger spoke positively about his experiences in London, calling it “a beautiful city,” he also said after the game that he was fine with a team playing eight games a year in England as long as he wasn’t on it. Other players expressed similar sentiments. “It’s a lot to ask of a player,” Vikings defensive end Jared Allen said last week. “I probably wouldn’t sign over here because every road trip would be three, four, five days.” View gallery . Shad Khan is no stranger to Europe as owner of the Fulham soccer team. (USA TODAY Sports) But how much time will players on a London team actually spend in London?