The total market cap of all AIM companies in the six months to December 2018 fell for the first time since H1 2016. The decline of 18% reflected general market jitters due to the US – China trade dispute, increasing uncertainty around Brexit, rising US interest rates and the budget dispute between the EU and Italy which affected stock markets around the world.
2018 also saw the first annual reduction in market cap since 2014 (15%) and was more pronounced than in the Main Market, which registered a smaller decline in 2018 (7%).
There was a continuation in the trend of consolidation in the number of companies listed on AIM in H2 2018, where a net reduction of 21 companies (2%) left 923 at the end of the year.
Total market capitalisation fell at a faster rate (18%), causing average market capitalisation per company to fall from £117m at June 2018 to £99m at December 2018. However, this was still the second highest year end average in AIM’s history after 2017.
The number of IPOs in H2 2018 was half that of the first six months, where concerns over investor appetite for some main market IPOs trickled down to smaller market cap companies. The total for 2018 was only eight lower than 2017 as activity in the first half of the year was relatively strong.
Total funds raised were £2.3bn in H2 2018 and £5.5bn for the year as a whole, (both) lower than prior year comparatives. Despite being down on 2017, full year proceeds in 2018 were the third highest annual total since 2011.
IPOs raised £409m in H2 2018. Although this was lower than proceeds in the first half, the average raised per company of £29.2m was higher (H1 2018: £23.5m).
The most active sectors for fundraising were financials with 21%, followed by oil & gas (19%) and consumer goods (15%). Financials and oil & gas were also the most active sectors for the year as a whole, raising £902m and £895m respectively.