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Stock Exchange Joins Forces to Lure Investment

The Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) this week unveiled a pilot joint venture with several Australian financial institutions to boost capital investment in potential high-growth domestic companies.

In this venture the ASX will work with six business advisers registered with its Internet-based capital-raising vehicle Enterprise Market (e.m), including domestic financial services group Ord Minnett, accounting firm William Buck, and corporate advisers Pacific Capital Corp., and Australia's Commonwealth Bank.

e.m was designed last year to help non-listed companies raise up to AUS$5 million (US$3.2 million) capital without the expense of preparing a prospectus. More than 200 corporate and financial advisers across Australia have registered with the service.

According to ASX managing director Richard Humphry, e.m has facilitated more than AUS$20 million (US$13.2 million) capital from private investors, with an average of around AUS$1.5 million (US$990,000) per business.

"In places like Silicon Valley, everyone knows what's going on," said e.m national manager Barry Westlake. "The informal networks of corporate and financial advisers know a lot about all of the deals which are available. In Australia, it's not unusual for people in the same advisory firm to be in the dark about the deals their colleagues are working on. e.m is helping to overcome this problem."

Details of this latest e.m project are currently being finalised and should be announced in September.



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