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Companies delay AIM listing

By Joydeep Ghosh & Rajesh Bhayani in Mumbai
October 14, 2008 09:55 IST
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Indian initial public offerings and funds listing at the London Alternative Investment Market have slowed down in the last quarter. According to a spokesperson at the London Stock Exchange, "We have seen a fall in the numbers of companies conducting AIM/IPOs in the last quarter as the result of the very unusual market conditions."

Companies which are planning IPOs are waiting for market conditions to stabilise, LSE said.

Mahadevan Narayanamoni, Partner, Transaction Advisory Services, Grant Thornton, said there have been five to six enquiries for AIM listing and all of them should be listed in the next eight to nine months.

The performance of IPOs and funds listed at the exchange has not been too encouraging since January. While Great Eastern Energy's global depository receipt has performed the best with a rise in 73 per cent since January, real estate firm, Western Pioneer Properties, has been the worst performer with the stock down 42 per cent.

Almost all the funds have taken a hit. Real estate companies, which use the AIM route to garner funds for a few projects at a time, are all down significantly. Unitech, Hiranandani's Hirco and Naya Bharat Property are all down by over 65 per cent, with Hirco taking a serious hit at 67 per cent. According to Niranjan Hiranandani, managing director, Hiranandani Constructions and chairman HIRCO, which raised $ 0.52 billion in December 2006, the fall is a reflection of the overall sentiment towards the real estate sector.

AIM is a market where smaller companies, typically entrepreneurial, raise money for projects to create a credible track record. Narayanamoni said the companies listed in the AIM have little track record, but are perceived as growth stories. Unlike the stock exchange, the number of investors are much less at 25-30, which helps the company to be in touch with them on a regular basis." Therefore, panic selling or liquidity forces do not impact AIM to that extent.

Many of these companies, at a later date, move to the main stock exchanges. For instance, Great Eastern Energy, whose GDR has been listed in the London AIM since December 2005, announced its intention to list in India this August.

India is the fifth largest among the countries, outside of UK, that are listed at the London AIM with a market capitalisation of £ 3.2 billion. Russia ($10.94 billion) leads the list followed by USA ($10.8 billion) and Western Europe ($7.83 billion).

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Joydeep Ghosh & Rajesh Bhayani in Mumbai
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