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Malcolm Cooper of National GridMarketing corporate debt directly to retail investors, a well-established practice in the United States, is just getting started in the UK. The market effectively opened in 2010 when the London Stock Exchange launched its Order book for Retail Bonds (ORB), a service via which retail bonds can be traded in denominations of 1,000 pounds.  After raising only 230 million pounds in its initial year, the market showed dramatic growth in 2011 with total issuance of more than 1.2 billion pounds. So far 2012 hasn’t quite matched this pace; as of the end of August, the UK market had raised 635 million pounds, bringing total issuance since the market opened to over 2 billion pounds.

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