AIM recruits to beef up rules

by Nicholas Neveling

15 Jun 2006

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AIM, the junior market of the London Stock Exchange, is launching a major recruitment search for accountants as part of its plans to toughen up regulation in the natural resources sector.

The highly successful market has suffered a series of high-profile collapses in the sector, such as Regal Petroleum, led by Frank Timis where claims made about resources, turned out to be completely empty.

The exchange has since consulted on regulating the sector differently and introduced rules in the hope of preventing future market failures.

Speaking at an AIM conference this week, Ray Knowles, manager of regulation at AIM, said the exchange was planning to recruit accountants and other professionals to monitor compliance with the new measures.

'The AIM team has almost doubled over the last 12 months and there is definitely scope to increase the headcount and add to the skills and resources available. We are going to be recruiting lawyers and accountants for this purpose,' Knowles said.

Under the new rules AIM officials will conduct compliance visits to the nominated advisers of these companies. The companies will also have to provide clearer, more detailed disclosures of the value of their assets, and back these with reports from independent competent persons.

The accounting recruits could also find themselves involved in AIM's plans to monitor share trades more closely. The exchange is consulting on a plan that is aimed at cracking down on insider trading.

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