Stocks and shares: investments on alternative markets: the alternative markets
The London Stock Exchange has strict regulations which a company must satisfy before it is allowed entry, and during its membership of the exchange. Where a company may be relatively small or new, it will not warrant entry to the full exchange (the Main Market), but may wish to open its shares to public investors to raise capital. The alternative markets fulfil this role and provide a forum for shares to be traded after the initial issue. They are regulated, but less so than the full exchange.
The main current alternative market you might come across is the Alternative Investment Market (AIM). It was launched in June 1995 to attract a wide range of new, small and growing companies. This market replaced the Unlisted Securities Market, which closed at the end of 1996.
Another alternative market is the ICAP Securities & Derivatives Exchange Ltd (ISDX). This is a successor to OFEX, an unregulated trading facility for dealing in unlisted shares.
Another market you might often see is NASDAQ, the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations, based in the USA.
You will usually find values for shares traded on AIM and NASDAQ from the same sources as for shares traded on the London Stock Exchange Main Market (IHTM18092). For shares traded on ISDX you may need to consult Shares and Assets Valuation if you need to confirm values.