How ready are you to go public when the opportunity arises?

By Paul Go

EY Global IPO Leader; Asia-Pacific EY Private Assurance Leader

Leads Chinese and multinational companies in client servicing domain. Heads Hong Kong real estate, hospitality and construction sector audit group.

4 minute read 30 Mar 2023

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In Q1 2023 the global IPO market continued to be an unwelcoming environment.

In brief
  • In the first quarter of 2023 global IPO volumes fell 8%, with proceeds down by 61% YOY.
  • There was only one mega IPO, stemming from the Middle East, with US$2.5b in proceeds.
  • Asia-Pacific dominated the quarter, accounting for 59% of global IPO deals.  

With only one quarter into 2023, it was more of the same for the stuttering global IPO market. With a total of 299 IPOs raising US$21.5b, an 8% and 61% decrease year-over-year (YOY), respectively, Q1 was another down period amid interest rate rises, a lukewarm stock market, entrenched inflation, and unexpected global banking industry turbulence. Despite this ongoing uncertainty around the economic and geopolitical environment, the IPO pipeline continues to build up and hope remains for a turnaround later this year. These and other findings were published in the EY Global IPO Trends Q1 2023. 

Technology companies, which have been a mainstay of IPO activity in recent years, experienced some sharp declines in valuations, and the turmoil in the crypto markets and global banking industry has not helped. While technology continued to lead in IPO volume, four of the top 10 listings in Q1 2023 were in the energy sector.

High liquidation and poor post-listing performance of de-SPACs dampened investors’ appetite for new IPOs. This quarter, SPAC IPO activity was at one of its lowest levels in recent years – it hit a six-year low in terms of volume, with proceeds also down to levels not seen since 2016. As market conditions remain challenging and many promoters of SPACs listed in early 2021 need to complete or unwind their transactions, SPAC IPO activity is likely to be muted in the near term. 

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Overall regional performance: any early euphoria felt disappeared by the quarter end 

The Americas IPO activity was in line with Q1 2022, but it was well below the levels seen in comparable periods over the last decade, finishing out this quarter with 40 deals and US$2.6b in proceeds, up 11% and up 9%, respectively, YOY. On US exchanges, there were 31 deals, eight of which were in excess of US$50m. Meanwhile, Canada saw its biggest IPO since May 2022, raising over US$100m in proceeds. Even though IPO activity levels have been on the lighter side, we have begun to see some early positive developments in the areas of inflation, interest rates, valuations and market volatility, which could set the stage for a potential recovery in the Americas IPO market. 

Even though the Asia-Pacific IPO market accounted for 59% of global IPO deals, its activity declined 6% by number and plummeted 70% by proceeds, respectively, YOY, recording only 175 deals and US$12.7b in proceeds for the quarter. Despite the lifting of almost all its pandemic control measures earlier this year, the Mainland China market was a bit quieter than usual, but it is on a healthy projected track and still accounts for more than 40% of all global IPO proceeds. Hong Kong, also usually a powerhouse for new listings, was uncharacteristically quiet. Overall, Asia-Pacific, took a “wait and see” attitude, as investors kept their powder dry and looked for further indicators of market recovery.  

As many companies withdrew or postponed their IPO filings due to market conditions, EMEIA IPO activity fell by 19% and 36% by number and proceeds, respectively, YOY, recording 84 IPOs raising US$6.2b for Q1. India as a region had the greatest drop in proceeds for EMEIA, with a sharp decline of 83%, even though it had a 50% increase in the number of listings. Globally, this quarter, the Middle East was also the only region with a mega IPO. Despite positive economic indicators, sentiment remains cautious, with investors being selective in a buyers’ market, seeking profitable and sustainable business cases. 

Q2 2023 outlook: a glimmer of hope 

Despite the unforgiving economic and geopolitical backdrop, there is light on the horizon, with peaking inflation, energy prices softening, and the rebound of Mainland China’s economy. However, the backlog for IPOs is continuing to build as companies are holding out for the stock market to stabilize and rebound before listing. 

In a highly unpredictable and persistent inflationary environment, investors who were previously oriented toward funding growth and potential are now more focused on the path to profitability and cash flows. Collaboration between governments, including cooperation and stock-connect programs, along with investor appetite for diversity, could also lead to a wave of dual listings and cross-border deals this year.

Businesses will need to navigate high-cost and reduced liquidity environment for a little longer. Once there is evidence of a more stable market with higher certainty, investor confidence should return, and prominent companies that have postponed IPO plans may restart, albeit at more modest valuations. 

Paul Go, EY Global IPO Leader, says: “Amidst persistent macroeconomic and geopolitical uncertainty, exacerbated by stress in the global banking system, IPO windows are fleeting and funding conditions are getting tougher, with investors prioritizing value over growth. 

IPO-bound companies need to focus on building sustainable businesses with strong fundamentals to be well-positioned in a volatile environment and meet the challenges and opportunities of going public.”

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  • Image description

    Column chart showing global IPO activity by number of IPOs from 2019-2022 (full years), and year-to-date 2023. Complete data is as follows: full year 2019, 1,146; full year 2020, 1,452; full year 2021, 2,436; full year 2022, 1,415; year-to-date 2023, 299.

  • Image description

    Column chart showing global IPO activity by IPO proceeds (US$b) from 2019-2022 (full years), and year-to-date 2023. Complete data is as follows: full year 2019, 208.3; full year 2020, 271.3; full year 2021, 459.9; full year 2022, 184.3; year-to-date 2023, 21.5.

  • Image description

    Column chart showing IPO activity by geography in year-to-date 2023, in terms of percentage change versus year-to-date 2022. The complete data per regions showing is as follows: Globally, the number of IPOs is down eight percent, with total IPO proceeds down sixty-one percent. For the Americas, the number of IPOs is up eleven percent, with total IPO proceeds up nine percent. For Asia-Pacific, the number of IPOs is down six percent, with IPO proceeds down seventy percent. For EMEIA, the total number of IPOs is down nineteen percent, with total IPO proceeds down thirty-six percent.

  • Image description

    Column chart showing the number of IPOs by sector in year-to-date 2023, in terms of percentage change, versus 2022 and 2021. The complete data is as follows: The Technology sector has 62 IPOs in year-to-date 2023 versus 328 in 2022 and 631 in 2021. The Industrials sector has 54 IPOS year-to-date in 2023 versus 222 in 2022 and 314 in 2021. The consumer sector has 54 IPOs in year-to-date 2023 versus 187 in 2022 and 306 in 2021. The materials sector has 49 IPOs in year-to-date 2023 versus 217 in 2022 and 303 in 2021. The health and life sciences sector has 22 IPOs in year-to-date 2023 versus 168 in 2022 and 391 in 2021. The energy sector has 18 IPOs in year-to-date 2023 versus 93 in 2022 and 141 in 2021. The media and entertainment sector has 13 IPOs in year-to-date 2023 versus 29 in 2022 and 48 in 2021. The real estate sector has 10 IPOs in year-to-date 2023 versus 54 in 2022 and 106 in 2021. The retail sector has 10 IPOs in year-to-date 2023 versus 50 in 2022 and 62 in 2021. The financials sector has 5 IPOs in year-to-date 2023 versus 44 in 2022 and 107 in 2021. The telecommunications sector has 2 IPOs in year-to-date 2023 versus23 in 2022 and 27 in 2021.

  • Image description

    Column chart showing IPO proceeds by sector (US$b) in year-to-date 2023 versus 2022 and 2021. The complete data is as follows: energy, 5.9 in year-to-date 2023 versus 39.8 in 2022 and 27.6 in 2021; Industrials, 4.6 in year-to-date 2023 versus 30.5 in 2022 and 64.4 in 2021; technology, 3.8 in year-to-date 2023 versus 37.4 in 2022 and 149.1 in 2021; materials, 2.2 in year-to-date 2023 versus 16.5 in 2022 and 22.7 in 2021; consumer, 1.6 in year-to-date 2023 versus 9.8 in 2022 and 42.2 in 2021; health and life sciences, 1.2 in year-to-date 2023 versus 17.5 in 2022 and 67.2 in 2021; financials, 1.1 in year-to-date 2023 versus 9.7 in 2022 and 33.7 in 2021; retail, 0.5 in year-to-date 2023 versus 8.0 in 2022 and 15.1 in 2021; media and entertainment, 0.3 in year-to-date 2023 versus 1.3 in 2022 and 6.3 in 2021; real estate, 0.2 in year-to-date 2023 versus 4.1 in 2022 and 15.9 in 2021; telecommunications, 0.1 in year-to-date 2023 versus 9.8 in 2022 and 15.7 in 2021.

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  • Data definitions for all charts

    The data presented on this webpage and in the EY Global IPO press release Q1 2023 is from Dealogic and EY analysis. Q1 2023 refers to the first quarter of 2023 and covers completed IPOs from 1 January to 21 March 2023, plus expected IPOs by 31 March 2023 (forecasted as of 21 March 2023). Data as of close of business 21 March 2023 UK time.

    • In compiling the IPO statistics included in these reports and press releases, we focus only on IPOs of operating companies and define an IPO as a "company's offering of equity to the public on a new stock exchange".
    • This report includes only those IPOs for which Dealogic and EY teams offer data regarding the first trade date (the first day on which the security start trading on a stock exchange), and proceeds (funds raised, including any over-allotment sold).
    • The first trade date determines which quarter a deal is attributed to. Postponed IPOs, or those that have not yet been priced, are therefore excluded. Over-the-counter (OTC) listings are also excluded.
    • In an attempt to exclude non-operating company IPOs such as trusts, funds and special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), companies with the following Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes are excluded:
      • 6091: Financial companies that conduct trust, fiduciary and custody activities.
      • 6371: Asset management companies such as health and welfare funds, pension funds and their third-party administration as well as other financial vehicles.
      • 6722: Companies that are open-end investment funds.
      • 6726: Companies that are other financial vehicles.
      • 6732: Companies that are grant-making foundations.
      • 6733: Asset management companies that deal with trusts, estates and agency accounts.
      • 6799: Special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs).
  • Definitions for IPO performance by geography

    • Africa includes Algeria, Botswana, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Morocco, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
    • Americas includes Argentina, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Jamaica, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico and the United States.
    • ASEAN includes Brunei, Cambodia, Guam, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, North Mariana Islands, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.
    • Asia-Pacific includes ASEAN (listed above), Greater China (as stated below), Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Papua New Guinea.
    • EMEIA includes Armenia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Russian Federation, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and United Kingdom plus the Middle East countries (listed below) and Africa countries (listed above).
    • Greater China includes Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.
    • India region includes IPO activity in Indian and Bangladesh stock exchanges. 
    • Middle East includes Bahrain, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
  • Definitions for IPO deals by sector and IPO proceeds by sector

    Sectors are classified according to Thomson general industries using a company’s Sector Industry Classification (SIC) code. There are 11 sectors, which are defined below with their specific industries. The 11 sectors are shown on the horizontal axis.

    • Consumer includes the combination of “Consumer staples” and “Consumer products and services” sectors. Its specific industries include: agriculture and livestock, food and beverage, household and personal products, textiles and apparel, tobacco, educational services, employment services, home furnishings, legal services, other consumer products, professional services, as well as travel services. 
    • Energy industries include alternative energy sources, oil and gas, other energy and power, petrochemicals, pipelines, power, as well as water and waste management.
    • Financials industries include asset management, banks, brokerage, credit institutions, diversified financials, government sponsored enterprises, insurance, as well as other financials.
    • Health and life sciences industries include biotechnology, health care equipment and supplies, health care providers and services (HMOs), hospitals, as well as pharmaceuticals.
    • Industrials industries include aerospace and defense, automobiles and components, building/construction and engineering, machinery, other industrials, transportation, as well as infrastructure.
    • Materials industries include chemicals, construction materials, containers and packaging, metals and mining, other materials, as well as paper and forest products.
    • Media and entertainment industries include advertising and marketing, broadcasting, cable, casino and gaming, hotels and lodging, motion pictures or audio visual, other media and entertainment, publishing, as well as recreation and leisure.
    • Real estate industries include non-residential, other real estate, real estate management and development, as well as residential.
    • Retail industries include apparel retailing, automotive retailing, computers and electronics retailing, discount and department store retailing, food and beverage retailing, home improvement retailing, internet and catalogue retailing, as well as other retailing.
    • Technology industries include computers and peripherals, electronics, internet software and services, IT consulting and services, other high technology, semiconductors, as well as software.
    • Telecommunications industries include other telecom, space and satellites, telecommunications equipment, telecommunications services, as well as wireless.

Previous IPO reports


The EY Global IPO Trends Q1 2023 show the subdued IPO market continued from 2022 into the first quarter of 2023. IPO-bound companies and investors remain cautious, biding their time in the face of significant uncertainty.

About this article

By Paul Go

EY Global IPO Leader; Asia-Pacific EY Private Assurance Leader

Leads Chinese and multinational companies in client servicing domain. Heads Hong Kong real estate, hospitality and construction sector audit group.