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Small caps: LSE offers research

The London Stock Exchange is launching a service to provide research coverage for the small-cap stocks listed on its main market and on junior market AIM.

The research, available on PSQ Analytics, as the venture is to be called, will be provided by three independent research houses: Argus Research based in New York, Independent International Investment Research based in the UK, and Pipal Research based in Chicago. The three providers will work together to produce standardized, high-quality, cost-effective equity research according to an agreed template and will be distributed, free of charge, on Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters and a dedicated web portal in order to reach the widest possible audience of investors.

The service, with a target audience of about 1,000 companies, will be fully ready by the autumn. Companies that wish to benefit from the service will pay £10,000 ($19,800) a year to be covered by one of the research houses, opening up research to companies for which current market offerings are not economic. The exchange itself will not make any revenue from the venture, which it says is solely for the benefit of the market. The nature of the coverage will be fairly basic and not include any investment advice or recommendations.

"The exchange supports a huge diversity of smaller companies that are competing to attract investor interest," says Martin Graham, head of Aim and director of equity markets at the LSE.

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