Exchange welcomes Budget consultations to boost access to capital for SMEs

Nia Williams

March 25, 2010

The Government will consult on allowing AIM shares to be eligible as a tax-advantaged investment for retail savers, and thus eligible for ISA inclusion. The Government will also consult on modifications to the Venture Capital Trust rules, including increasing: the employee limit for investable companies to either 100 or 250 employees; the gross asset limit to £15 million before the investment, and £16 million after; and the annual investment limit to £5 million.

The Exchange welcomes this consultation and strongly believes that if implemented, these two proposals will provide a real boost for small and medium sized enterprises, unlocking important additional capital needed for expansion, and supporting economic growth, job creation and entrepreneurial activity.

Marcus Stuttard, head of AIM, London Stock Exchange Group, said: “We are delighted that the Government is to consult on allowing AIM shares to be eligible for inclusion in ISAs and modifying the Venture Capital Trust rules. These very promising signs reflect the constructive dialogue we and others, including the Quoted Companies Alliance, have been engaged in with Government departments over the past 18 months, and we are delighted at the increased recognition among policy makers of the importance of SMEs to economic growth.

“We are grateful that the Government is looking into giving Venture Capital Trusts greater freedom in the investments they make in small cap companies. We believe, like they do, that policies that facilitate access to public equity finance will support business and jobs. We will also continue to engage in constructive discussions at a European level, engaging with other market operators and policy makers, to discuss and identify solutions to alleviate the challenges SMEs face in accessing finance.”

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