– London Stock Exchange Group warmly welcomes abolition of stamp duty on AIM shares in 2013 Budget

– Move will boost investment in growth market shares, and reduce cost of capital for UK's fast growing job-creating businesses

The Chancellor's confirmation in yesterday's Budget that stamp duty will be abolished for companies quoted on growth markets, including London Stock Exchange's AIM, is a bold and decisive growth-orientated policy.

The announcement sends a strong signal that London's equity markets are open for business, and will encourage growth businesses and entrepreneurs to use the public equity markets to build job-creating businesses of significant scale in the UK.

Xavier Rolet, CEO, London Stock Exchange Group said:

"This is fantastic news for the UK's small and medium size businesses. As engines of economic growth, these are the job-creators of tomorrow and the pathway to our prosperity. The Chancellor has put growth centre-stage and in abolishing stamp duty on AIM shares is helping to create an environment where these businesses can thrive."

Removing stamp duty from UK growth markets will incentivise a wider set of investors to back high growth SMEs in the UK's real economy. Analysis shows that abolishing stamp duty will reduce the cost of capital for SMEs by over 15 per cent, enabling firms already quoted on AIM to expand and create up to 26,000 new highly skilled jobs in innovative sectors such as IT, life sciences and green energy.

The following organisations, individuals and companies have actively supported the abolition of stamp duty on AIM shares:

  • John Cridland, Director General, CBI
  • Mayor of London, Boris Johnson
  • Joanna Shields, CEO, Tech City Investment Organisation
  • Robert Hingley, ABI
  • British Venture Capital Association (BVCA)
  • Jenny Tooth, CES, UK Business Angels Association
  • Seth Johnson, CEO, ICAP-ISDX
  • City of London
  • Tim Ward, CEO, Quoted Companies Alliance
  • Tom Papworth, Researcher, CentreForum
  • Deloitte
  • PWC
  • KPMG
  • Stian Westlake, Executive Director Policy and Research, NESTA
  • Association of Private Client Investment Managers and Stockbrokers (APCIMS)
  • Tax Incentivised Savings Assocation (TISA)
  • Steve Bates, CEO, UK Bioindustry Association (UK BIA)
  • Robin Klein, Index Ventures
  • Shore Capital
  • Numis
  • Grant Thornton
  • Panmure Gordon
  • Finncap
  • Brewin Dolphin
  • The Share Centre Ltd
  • Killik & Co
  • WANdisco plc
  • ReNeuron plc
  • Milton Group plc

Additional commentary on the Government's announcement yesterday:

John Cridland, Director General, CBI:

"We have long called for the abolition of stamp duty on growth market shares to improve the attractiveness of medium-sized businesses to investors. Abolishing stamp duty will result in a more vibrant equity market for growing businesses."

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson:

"It is vital that we retain London's status as the financial services capital of Europe, which is why I have lobbied strongly alongside London MPs and London Stock Exchange for the removal of stamp duty on AIM for our thriving high-growth sectors. This is a welcome step in helping to keep London's businesses competitive as we position ourselves in a growing global economy and we will press the case for further cuts including business rates in the future."

Joanna Shields, CEO, Tech City Investment Organisation:

"The removal of stamp duty from UK growth markets is a very important step in creating the right conditions to encourage investors to fully buy into London Stock Exchange's new High Growth Segment as well as the existing AIM market. Equity is the ideal vehicle for high growth businesses, providing the patient capital required to back unproven but exciting new and disruptive technologies to achieve their full potential. This move will help raise the profile of the tech sector amongst professional investors and pave the way for more UK listings, which would have a galvanizing impact on innovation culture in Britain, encouraging more people to build a business here."

Robert Hingley, Director of Investment Affairs, ABI:

"We welcome the abolition in today's budget of stamp duty on shares traded on growth markets. Any move which helps increase the supply, and reduce the cost, of equity in financial markets is good news for investors."

Jenny Tooth, CEO, UK Business Angels Association:

"UK Business Angels Association is delighted that the Government has agreed to abolish stamp duty on shares for companies listing on AIM. We have been completely supportive of this measure and are delighted that the government has listened to the voice of the business and investment community. This will offer new incentives for angel -backed businesses to take advantage of opportunities to access the public markets and achieve their high growth potential."

Seth Johnson, Chief Executive Officer, ISDX:

"ISDX welcomes the abolition of stamp duty on ISDX Growth Market shares. The proposed change gives a clear indication that the Government recognises the importance of SMEs in driving economic growth across the UK and that it is willing to take positive steps to increase access to funding for such companies. As SMEs account for almost 60% of all private sector employment in the UK, the potential benefits of today's announcement extend well beyond equity markets into the wider economy."

Tim Ward, Chief Executive of the Quoted Companies Alliance:

"The removal of stamp duty on AIM and ISDX shares, together with the recently announced consultation on allowing shares traded on SME equity markets to be included in ISAs, shows that the Government is beginning to respond positively to our call for real action. This will create more fuel for the engines of growth. It is very welcome and now needs to be supported with other initiatives to ensure that growing companies are able to access public capital markets. The UK economy desperately needs equity markets that are fit for purpose in helping companies raise finance, grow and create jobs."

London Stock Exchange by Wjfox2005 (PD)

London Stock Exchange by Wjfox2005 (PD)

Tom Papworth, Research Associate, CentreForum:

"CentreForum welcomes the Chancellor's announcement to abolish stamp duty for shares traded on Growth Markets, as recommended in our report, The Path to IPO: funding SME jobs and growth. Eliminating Stamp Duty on shares in high growth companies will help small, fast growing firms access the capital they need to invest and so create wealth and jobs."

Stian Westlake, Executive Director of Policy and Research, NESTA:

"Nesta welcomes the Government's decision to abolish stamp duty on AIM. This is a great move to support innovative businesses and helps to create the risk taking culture we need to encourage to get the growth we need."

Steve Bates Chief Executive, UK Bioindustry Association:

"Abolishing stamp duty on AIM-traded shares will helps build UK biotech firms because access to patient non debt finance is vital for a vibrant bioscience ecosystem. Alongside a well-funded science base and the strong fiscal support from government through initiatives such as R&D tax credits, the Patent Box and the Biomedical Catalyst this move helps create a supportive environment for this key growth sector."

Michael Hunt, Chief Executive of AIM quoted stem cell company ReNeuron:

"Abolishing stamp duty on AIM shares from 2014 is a welcome move. It should increase trade on the market which will encourage more investors to back innovative bioscience companies."

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