It’s now official – the Isle of Man is the jurisdiction of choice for non-UK companies seeking a listing on London’s Alternative Investment Market.

A new survey by Hemscott, a leading international provider of high quality business and financial data and investor relations services, examined the top 100 non-UK companies currently listed on AIM and found that 15 were incorporated in the Isle of Man - more than twice as many as second placed Bermuda and third placed Canada.

‘Gateway to world markets’

Treasury Minister Allan Bell said the Island’s favourable taxation, legal and investment environment made it an attractive proposition for companies seeking a market listing: ‘We are delighted to be recognised for the important role we are playing through providing global companies with a gateway to the City of London’s thriving capital markets.’

London is now seen as the number one financial centre in the world. A huge amount of capital is flowing into the City seeking access to capital markets and the Isle of Man is being used increasingly as the jurisdiction of choice to gain access to these markets. Manx law firm Cains has advised on 14 listings in the past 12 months – including Nikanor plc, Unitech Corporate Parks plc and Lamprell plc.

Andrew Corlett, Cains’ Managing Director, said a growing number of international companies were choosing to list on AIM via an external domicile of incorporation, and their quality was reflected in the current strength of investor appetite: ‘As our own experience reflects, India and China in particular are choosing the Isle of Man as their preferred jurisdiction, and we believe this trend will continue to represent a key growth area for the Island’s business.’

Blue chip financial services

Cains is the only Isle of Man member of Lex Mundi, the world’s leading association of international law firms, and was the first Island law firm to open a permanently staffed office in London. It is currently ranked first by Hemscott for law firms by a number of AIM 100 clients attracted by the Island’s quality financial services and strong economy.

Growth is currently estimated at around 8 per cent in real terms and the Island’s economic base is diversifying into a range of specialist sectors, such as aerospace, e-commerce, engineering, manufacturing and construction, as well as the Island’s core financial services sector which accounts for 39 per cent of GDP.

One of the biggest attractions for blue chip business is the Isle of Man’s triple ‘A’ credit rating from both leading agencies Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s – a status it has maintained since 2002. The international standard provides would-be investors in the Island with the confidence that they are dealing with a quality jurisdiction with sound economic and financial management policies, and represents a clear competitive advantage for the Isle of Man over other locations.

The Isle of Man is now one of the most success economies in Europe, currently experiencing it twenty-second year of continuous growth and virtual full employment. Government revenues has increased by £100 million over the past five years and the Island’s national income per head is over 20 per cent above the average for the 15 leading EU economies.

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