AIM Italia Ready For Launch

London Stock Exchange Group announced today that nine firms have applied to join the AIM Italia Nominated Adviser register, marking an important step in the creation of the growth market in Italy. It was also announced today that the AIM Italia rule book, approved in September, has now become effective.

AIM Italia is distinguished by its balanced regulatory approach, underpinned by the Nominated Adviser system, the international visibility generated through its close links with AIM, as well as its straightforward admissions process tailored around the needs of Italian small and mid-cap companies. AIM Italia, in addition to MAC, completes the offering for SMEs in the Italian financial markets.

The nine prospective AIM Italia Nominated Advisers, who will have their applications finalised over the coming weeks, are:

  • Abaxbank
  • Banca Akros
  • Centrobanca
  • Eidos Partners
  • Equita SIM (Ex Euromobiliare SIM)
  • Intermonte SIM
  • MPS Capital Services
  • UniCredit Group
  • Unipol Merchant

Massimo Capuano, Deputy CEO of London Stock Exchange Group and CEO of Borsa Italiana, said:

“The launch of AIM Italia represents one of the key milestones of the merger between Borsa Italiana and the London Stock Exchange. AIM Italia will become a central part of Borsa Italiana’s offering for Italian small and medium sized companies. It has been specifically tailored to meet their needs for growth capital, profile-building opportunities and, in time, a liquid secondary market. It will also provide investors with exciting new investment opportunities and effective principles-based regulatory protection. We believe AIM Italia will become one of the main ways for financing developing Italian growth companies.”

The SME sector in Italy is large and exciting: with over 4000 companies Italy has the highest concentration of SMEs in Europe and is well known for its ‘family’ capitalism, typified by its large number of family-run businesses. From this population we see a range of potential candidates for equity market funding.

Alongside the launch of rules for AIM Italia, Borsa Italiana is overhauling its market structure. These include upgrading the Expandi market into the main MTA market; agreeing fast track procedures between the different markets; providing a dedicated admission procedure for private equity backed companies; and creating a market in Italy for investment vehicles. More details on these changes can be found via the Borsa Italiana press release:

http://www.borsaitaliana.it/borsaitaliana/ufficio-stampa/comunicati-stampa/2008/080811consultazioniaimitalia.en.htm

For further information, please contact:

Alastair Fairbrother Press Office +44 (0)20 7797 1222

newsroom@londonstockexchange.com


Notes to editors

· About the London Stock Exchange Group:

London Stock Exchange Group is Europe's leading diversified exchange business. It operates Europe's largest and most liquid equity market, holds the number one position in trading ETFs and securitised derivatives, and through its interest in MTS, is the leading platform for the trading of fixed income products.

The London Stock Exchange itself is the world's most international exchange with over 700 overseas companies from over 70 countries on its markets. It has consolidated this position in the last two calendar years, having attracted 202 international companies which raised nearly £30 billion between them. These figures include international companies on AIM, the London Stock Exchange's growth market, which has grown to become the world's most successful market for small and medium sized enterprises with close to 1700 companies at the end of 2007.

Following its merger with Borsa Italiana in 2007, London Stock Exchange Group also now offers post-trade services such as netting, clearing and settlement on an efficient and competitive basis, and a comprehensive range of European bond trading services through MTS.