In his Budget yesterday UK Chancellor George Osborne responded positively to calls from the London Stock Exchange and abolished stamp duty on shares of companies listed on growth markets including the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) and the ISDX Growth Market.

The Stock Exchange, financial institutions, and business organisations have long argued that removing stamp duty would make it easier and cheaper for small cap and start-up companies to raise equity capital but to date their requests have fallen on deaf ears.

The end of the stamp duty levy on smaller-company shares is to be welcomed but I remember a time almost 20 years ago when an earlier Conservative Chancellor announced the abolition of stamp duty on all shares, later revised to shares translated electronically, and finally dropped altogether. Let’s hope a similar fate does not befall this announcement.

Stamp duty on the transfer of shares on these markets will be abolished April next year in a move which the Chancellor said would “directly benefit hundreds of smaller quoted UK firms, lowering their cost of capital, helping to promote jobs and growth”.


Category: Investments



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