Investors look to 2018 for increased growth

by Iheanyi Nwachukwu

December 21, 2017 | 12:48 am
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As the year comes to a close, a healthy pipeline of market-ready companies is growing as a result of lower volatility across regions, equity indices still hitting all-time highs and increasing investor confidence.

Cross-border deals look set to remain a feature of the global Initial Public Offering (IPO) market in 2018, especially with exchanges in US, Greater China and London.

Global IPO activity surged in 2017, making it the most active year since 2007. Year-to-date, 2017 has registered 1,624 IPOs with $188.8billion raised – an increase of 49percent by number of deals and 40percent by capital raised compared with 2016.

But while these figures do not equal 2007 levels (1,974 IPOs, which raised $338.4billion), investors are anticipating a very active 2018 as markets return to their pre-crisis levels. These and other findings were released in the latest EY Global IPO trends: Q4 2017.

Martin Steinbach, EY Global and EY EMEIA IPO Leader, says:  “2017 will close with more IPOs than any year since 2007. With this great momentum, IPO candidates are lining up for 2018. The outlook appears bright, driven by lower volatility across regions, high valuation levels and a renewed appetite for cross-border IPOs, particularly in the US, Hong Kong and London. A healthy global pipeline across a broad range of sectors and markets suggests IPO activity levels will be up with more megadeals, thereby increasing the global proceeds in 2018.”

Asia-Pacific exchanges saw a surge of 44percent by deal numbers to 935 IPOs in 2017 after an exceptionally strong first half of the year. However, the pace of listings slowed in Q4 2017, which saw only 240 deals – a 4percent drop on Q4 2016. Proceeds in 2017, at $73.2billion, were only 0.2percent higher than in 2016, reflecting the marked downward shift in average deal sizes. Exchanges based in Asia-Pacific took the top three rankings globally by deal number in 2017. Greater China exchanges saw 582 new listings in 2017 – a 68percent increase on 2016.

Ringo Choi, EY Asia-Pacific IPO Leader, says: “Asia-Pacific saw rapid growth in IPO numbers in 2017 and cemented the region’s position as the world’s most active for new listings. But total proceeds have declined this year compared to 2016, due to noticeably fewer mega IPOs and higher number of smaller deals across the region. There was a thriving market in small-cap IPOs as far afield as China, Japan and Australia. We expect to see this trend continuing into 2018, with IPOs expected to rise in Hong Kong, Japan and the ASEAN region.”

EMEIA saw 469 deals raise $64.0b in 2017, making the region second only to Asia-Pacific in terms of deal numbers and proceeds. Deal numbers increased by 50percent in 2017 compared with 2016, while proceeds rose by 67percent. Seventeen mega deals (with proceeds above $1billion) have raised $28.7billion, increasing the average deal size on the main markets by 45percent to $102.0million in 2017. Reflecting the global trend, cross-border activity by proceeds saw a huge increase, accounting for 14percent of IPOs in 2017 compared with 2percent in 2016.

Emerging markets contributed strongly to overall IPO performance, with India’s Bombay and National exchanges recording a 74percent increase in deal numbers in 2017. The Middle East saw a 256percent increase in proceeds and a 179percent increase in deal numbers over 2016, with Saudi Arabia continuing to lead the way.

Steinbach says: “EMEIA IPO activity soared by number of deals and proceeds in 2017. Looking to 2018, economic momentum remains robust. The Eurozone looks set to enjoy resilient growth and moderate inflation, while both India and the Middle East are enjoying economic reforms and a positive investment climate. Against this backdrop, the pipeline for EMEIA looks promising with a significant number of planned cross-border listings that reflect the strong confidence among issuers in the choices offered by EMEIA exchanges.”

There were 174 IPOs in the US in 2017, raising $39.5billion, a welcome increase of 84percent in terms of proceeds and 55percent by volume compared with 2016. This meant that the Americas accounted for 13percent of global deals and 27percent of global IPO proceeds in 2017.

In 2017, the proportion of cross-border IPOs was the highest since 2010, accounting for 24percent of US IPOs by number of deals and 25percent by proceeds. Five of the top 10 deals on US exchanges in Q4 2017 were cross-border, which accounted for 61percent by proceeds. Overall, three US deals featured in the global top 10 deals of the year.

Jackie Kelley, EY Americas IPO Markets Leader, says:  “Americas IPO activity ends the year on a high, driven by strong equity markets performance married with increased investor demand. In particular, a boost in cross-border listings on US exchanges fueled this activity. As Brazil emerges from recession, issuers rushed to tap the market in the second half of 2017, while Canada experienced a rebound with nearly four times as many offerings this year compared with 2016. Overall, the Americas markets continue to exhibit strong market fundamentals and are expected to remain an attractive destination for companies looking to raise capital in 2018.”

Steinbach says: “Everything is in place for an exceptional 2018. The stronger-than-expected turnaround in economic activity in the Eurozone has boosted expectations for global economic growth. All the major engines of growth in the global economy are now synchronized in an upward trajectory for the first time since the end of the global financial crisis.”

Iheanyi Nwachukwu

by Iheanyi Nwachukwu

December 21, 2017 | 12:48 am
  |     |     |   Start Conversation

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