London Stock Exchange publishes latest guidance for AIM Companies in light of COVID-19
The London Stock Exchange has published its latest issue of ‘Inside AIM’ on 20 March 2020 to show the temporary measures being introduced to support AIM-listed companies and their nominated advisers during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Points to note:
AIM Regulation will be applying discretion to the application of the following rules for AIM companies and their nominated advisers:
- Temporary Suspension of Trading – All companies should continue to meet their disclosure obligations without delay. However, where an AIM company needs more time to be make a fully compliant notification than would be the case in ordinary circumstances, the nominated adviser should approach AIM Regulation to discuss whether a temporary suspension is required. The request will need to fully explain why the suspension is appropriate in the circumstances and any decision to suspend is at the discretion of AIM Regulation. If granted, such a temporary suspension will be for a limited period to enable the AIM company to make a fully compliant notification.
- Cancellation of Admission – Under AIM Rule 41 (Cancellation), AIM companies that have had their securities suspended from trading on AIM for more than 6-months will have their securities cancelled. AIM Regulation will now increase this period to 12-months for companies that have or will be suspended between 30th September 2019 and 1 July 2020.
- Nominated Adviser Obligations – The requirement for nominated advisers to carry out a physical site-visit is being suspended temporarily once applicable restrictions (e.g. social distancing and travel) have been lifted provided that a nominated adviser uses alternative measures that are reasonably available (e.g. virtual meetings). AIM Regulation have also recognised that in current circumstances for the purpose of providing AIM Rules education, nominated advisers are likely to be undertaking telephone or virtual meetings with directors instead of physical meetings.
It is important for AIM companies to openly consult with their nominated advisers as to what planning procedures will be put in place (if any) to maintain compliance requirements under the AIM Rules for Companies. As the situation develops, it will be important that challenges are identified early on – the extended discretionary powers of AIM Regulation should provide further flexibility not previously offered under conventional circumstances.
For more information, please see Inside AIM: Coronavirus – Temporary Measures.
Should you wish to discuss any of the matters raised in this article, please do get in touch with Joan Yu or Peter Wilkie, or your usual contact at Kerman & Co.