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The Quoted Companies Alliance, the independent membership organisation that champions the interests of small to mid-size quoted companies, welcomes the Chancellor’s announcement today in the Budget to remove stamp duty on the trading of shares on growth markets, such as AIM and the ICAP Securities and Derivatives Exchange (ISDX), from April 2014.

Together with the London Stock Exchange and other industry bodies, the Quoted Companies Alliance has been pushing for the removal of stamp duty on trades in AIM and ISDX shares. This measure will help to increase liquidity and investment in small and mid-size quoted companies – vital engines of growth for the UK economy. The quarterly QCA/BDO Small and Mid-Cap Sentiment Index in November 2012 showed that removing stamp duty on trading in small and mid-size quoted company shares was one of the five most popular fiscal measures that would have the greatest positive impact on companies were it announced in the 2013 Budget.

Neil Pamplin, Chairman of the Quoted Companies Alliance Tax Expert Group and Corporate and International Tax Director at Grant Thornton LLP, said: “We are delighted that the Government has engaged with our members and taken a proactive approach towards stimulating investment in growing companies. Removing stamp duty on trading in AIM and ISDX shares has great potential for improving liquidity in those markets and encouraging investors to play an active role in supporting growth in UK PLC.”

Gervais Williams, Managing Director of Miton Group plc and a Director of the Quoted Companies Alliance, said: “Removing stamp duty will not only reduce the cost of investing in AIM and ISDX stocks, but also offers substantive difference in stimulating extra liquidity in these companies. Whilst it reduces their cost of capital, the bigger effect is the step up so corporates can fund extra growth more easily. This will boost our domestic economy and employment growth to the benefit of all. It is easy to underestimate the full benefit of this change.”

Dick Steele, Chairman of AIM listed Portmeirion Group plc and a Director of the Quoted Companies Alliance, said: "This is a very welcome move. The elimination of stamp duty on trading in our company shares, and those of similar companies, will encourage investment by both retail and institutional investors, so increasing trading volumes and liquidity. The move will make it cheaper for companies like us to raise money to invest in the growth of the UK. Thank you Chancellor. "

Tim Ward, Chief Executive of the Quoted Companies Alliance, said:  “The removal of stamp duty on AIM and ISDX shares, together with the recently announced consultation on allowing shares traded on SME equity markets to be included in ISAs, shows that the Government is beginning to respond positively to our call for real action. This will create more fuel for the engines of growth.  It is very welcome and now needs to be supported with other initiatives to ensure that growing companies are able to access public capital markets.  The UK economy desperately needs equity markets that are fit for purpose in helping companies raise finance, grow and create jobs.”

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