- Number of IPOs tripled in second quarter, issue volume more than doubled
- Strong growth in Europe – all regions of the world see a significant increase
- Almost 370 SPAC issues in the first half of the year
- Swiss stock exchange SIX saw two IPOs in the second quarter
The latest IPO Barometer from EY Switzerland shows that the global IPO market remained in excellent shape in the second quarter of this year: A total of 589 companies went public worldwide between April and June – three times as many as in the same period last year. The issue volume climbed 152 percent to USD 106 billion.
The strongest growth was registered in Europe: Compared with the same quarter last year, the number of IPOs more than quintupled from 27 to 142, while the issue volume rose from USD 6.4 billion to USD 21.1 billion (up 228 percent). "High valuation levels and lower volatility are currently creating positive investor sentiment and a real run on the stock markets," said Tobias Meyer, Head of Transaction Accounting and IPO Services at EY Switzerland.
Most IPOs were again registered in China (including Hong Kong): There, 161 companies went public in the second quarter, 81 percent more than last year. The issue volume rose 66 percent to USD 30.9 billion. IPO activity also developed very dynamically in the US: Both the number of IPOs and the issue volume more than doubled: from 41 to 114 IPOs and from USD 15.2 billion to USD 37.1 billion, respectively.
In the first half of the year, tech companies in particular attracted investor interest: Tech companies accounted for approximately one in four IPOs worldwide (27 percent) and as much as 39 percent of the total issue volume. "The digitization trend, which has been enormously boosted by the pandemic, is putting digital business models in the spotlight with investors," Meyer observed.
Two IPOs on the Swiss stock exchange
While no IPOs were recorded on the SIX Swiss stock exchange in the first quarter of this year, there were two in the second quarter. The IPOs of PolyPeptide Group AG and Montana Aerospace achieved an issue volume of USD 1.5 billion. The three Swiss-based companies VectivBio Holding AG, Molecular Partners AG and NLS Pharmaceutics Ltd went public on the Nasdaq technology exchange in the United States, and Trifork Holding AG had itself listed on Nasdaq Copenhagen A/S in Copenhagen.
Meyer also expects IPO transactions again in the second half of the year: "We will see more IPOs on the Swiss stock exchange by the end of fall 2021, with several companies in final preparations for an IPO."
Almost 370 SPAC issues globally in the first half of the year
SPACs (special purpose acquisition companies) continue to generate great interest: 305 of these shell companies were listed for the first time in the first quarter, generating an issue volume of USD 98.6 billion. In the second quarter, there were 63 such transactions with a volume of USD 13.4 billion. By way of comparison: During the whole of 2020, 255 issues with a total volume of USD 81.5 billion had been registered. US stock exchanges accounted for 350 of the 368 SPAC issues in the first half of 2021. "As before, SPACs are largely a US phenomenon, but there is a lot of interest here as well," Meyer said. In Europe, a total of six SPAC issues were counted in 2020; in the first half of 2021, this figure had already risen to 18 with a total issue volume of USD 5.0 billion. Of these, three transactions took place in Germany, raising a total of USD 937 million. No SPAC transactions have yet been recorded on the Swiss stock exchange.
The SPAC boom in the United States will continue to shake up the transaction market, Meyer expects: "These listed shell companies are now on an acquisition spree in Europe as well. More indirect IPOs of European candidates through this route and predominantly in the United States can be expected."
The largest IPOs in the first half of the year
The largest IPO of the year to date took place in Hong Kong: Short video platform Kuaishou Technology raised USD 6.2 billion there in February. In second place was the initial listing of the South Korean online retailer Coupang with an issue volume of USD 4.6 billion, followed by the IPO of the Polish parcel service provider InPost (USD 3.9 billion) and the IPO of JD.com’s department store and logistics division (USD 3.6 billion). After only 14 transactions above the USD 1 billion mark were counted worldwide in the first half of 2020, there were 42 such large transactions in the first six months of this year.
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