A recent piece of research commissioned by Ernst & Young has offered all those associated with the financial markets reason to feel optimistic heading into the second half of the year. The report notes that Global IPO fundraising activity has risen by 38% in the second quarter of 2011, compared with the same period last year. Focusing on Europe in particular, the report comments that IPO fundraisers in the second quarter amassed to a huge 534% increase in capital raised, compared to the dealings from the first quarter of the year. Of particular note was the fact that dealings conducted on the London Stock Exchange were themselves responsible for US$12.6bn of the US$17.7bn raised within Europe’s stock markets. Whilst the blockbuster IPO fund-raiser of the Swiss commodities trader, Glencore, no doubt heavily contributed to this buoyant up-turn in capital-raising, further market sentiment would suggest that the London Stock Exchange is enjoying a very active period. In turn, the increase in Global IPO activity has also been heavily mirrored on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM market. The number of companies joining AIM has more than doubled to 16 in the second quarter of 2011, up from just seven in the first quarter. Furthermore, AIM has already completed 19 IPOs this year, with June in particular having been an especially strong month; the IPOs in June managed to raise £169.5m which was the highest amount raised on the market for six months. Market reporters suggest that the current trend of IPOs on AIM is set to continue throughout the second half of the year. Abchurch is certainly seeing an increase in activity and the team are working on a number of floats at the moment, one of which, Spectra Systems, a US specialist in advanced technology for banknote authentication floated on AIM in late July. Early indications suggest that Spectra Systems has continued the current IPO fund-raising trend on AIM by managing to raise £15m; a strong advance on the £5m initially hoped for. Furthermore, Spectra enjoyed a happy first day of dealings with the share price up to 78.5p having floated at 75.3p. .