LSE to offer equity research on smaller firms

LSE to offer equity research on smaller firms

In an attempt to boost liquidity of smallcap stocks on its junior and main market, the London Stock Exchange (LSE) is launching an equity research service that will provide information and analysis on smaller companies.

The exchange has recruited New York's Argus Research, Chicago's Pipal Research and UK-based Independent International Investment Research to produce standardised equity research for the service, called PSQ Analytics.

Companies will be allocated one of the three providers on a pre-determined basis to ensure impartiality of the research, says LSE.

The research will be distributed free of charge via Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters and a dedicated Web portal. The LSE says it will not be taking any revenue from the service and its role will be to provide marketing and facilitate the distribution of the research.

The LSE says research through PSQ Analytics is expected to cost a company around £10,000 a year, "opening up research to companies for whom current market offerings are often not economic".

"The market feedback we have received demonstrates that there is huge value for companies in this scheme. By paying for research to complement the services already provided by brokers and other research firms, companies can increase visibility and understanding of their stock, leading to a wider investor base and ultimately enhanced liquidity," says Martin Graham, head of AIM and director of equity markets.

The PSQ Analytics service is expected to launch in September.

The new launch of the service comes as the LSE begins a consultation on other measures to boost liquidity in the shares of smaller companies listed on its markets.

The exchange says it will consult member firms on measures to "improve price formation and liquidity provision for smaller companies". Under consideration are changes to market making obligations, the costs associated with market maker registration and the reduction and possible removal of reporting fees in less liquid equity securities on the main market and AIM.

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