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LONDON - London Stock Exchange looks set to beat NYSE Group in fundraising last year for the first time since 2000, raising 71 per cent more than in 2005, according to figures from the London bourse.

The London exchange's main market and its AIM bourse, formerly known as the Alternative Investment Market, raised a record £27.9 billion ($77.65 billion) in initial public offerings (IPOs), the bourse said.

The amount raised on the London exchange is almost £10 billion more than the NYSE made in the year to the end of November, according to figures in the statement. December figures for the American markets aren't yet available.

"We're very proud that companies from the UK and 25 countries around the world use the market to raise capital," Martin Graham, director of markets at the London exchange, said.

By the end of November, initial offerings totaled £25.8 billion for the London bourse, compared with £18.4 billion for NYSE Group, the statement said.

Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing raised £19.3 billion as of the end of November. Nasdaq raised £6.7 billion in initial offerings through October, according to the LSE.

Data from the World Federation of Exchanges reveals that this will be the first time since 2000 that London has beaten New York on fundraising, the London-based Times reported yesterday.

AIM had £9.1 billion of the new issues on the London exchange. In all, the London exchange attracted offerings from 346 companies in 2006, the bourse said.

London Stock Exchange pledged on December 19 to raise its dividend for this year by at least 50 per cent as it asked shareholders to reject a "wholly inadequate" £2.7 billion hostile bid from Nasdaq Stock Market.

Shares of the LSE more than doubled last year, valuing the company at £2.79 billion as of the close on December 29.

Companies raised a total of £49.5 billion pounds in new offerings and share sales of already listed companies, according to the London bourse. The exchange attracted 99 international floats from companies incorporated in 25 countries.

- BLOOMBERG