Are your growth strategies resilient enough for the future?

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 16 Dec 2021

Global IPO has record-breaking 2021, prepare for headwinds in 2022.

In brief
  • Global IPO volumes rose 64% and proceeds rose by 67% year-on-year (YOY).
  • Q4 2021 was the most active fourth quarter by deal numbers since Q4 2007.
  • COVID-19 vaccine rollout, economic rebound and high liquidity buoyed 2021 initial optimism.

In the face of the uncertain environment 2021 promised, the global IPO market had an exceptional year, breaking records by IPO volume and proceeds consistently into the fourth quarter. Overall, 2021 saw a total of 2,388 deals raising US$453.3b in proceeds, a 64% and 67% respective increase YOY.   

Through 2021, global markets experienced overall increases by both IPO volume and proceeds, but Europe, Middle East, India and Africa (EMEIA) exchanges produced the highest growth, seeing a 158% increase by number and 214% increase by proceeds (724 IPOs raising US$109.4b). The Americas remained hot as well, ending the year with 528 IPOs raising US$174.6b by proceeds, an 87% and 78% increase, respectively. The Asia-Pacific region experienced relatively modest growth resulting in 1,136 IPOs (28% increase) raising US$169.3b by proceeds (22% increase).  

Globally, the technology sector saw the highest number of IPOs (611) for the sixth consecutive quarter since Q3 2020 and raised the highest proceeds (US$147.5b) for the seventh consecutive quarter since Q2 2020. Health care raised the next highest by volume and proceeds, seeing 376 IPOs raise US$65.4b by proceeds. Industrials was not far behind health care, with 310 IPOs raising US$63.1b by proceeds. 

Looking ahead to the new year, both headwinds and tailwinds are in sight which will likely impact IPO activity. A combination of geopolitical tensions, inflation risks, and new waves and variants of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that hamper full economic recovery are all at play. Despite all of these, relatively high valuations and market liquidity for now are keeping the IPO window open in 2022. IPO candidates can expect higher market volatility and thus should remain flexible with a plan B in place to meet financing needs in case the IPO timetable is delayed.  

Whether IPO-bound companies press pause or forge ahead in 2022, they will need to satisfy investor demands for resilient growth strategies and well-articulated ESG plans.
Paul Go
EY Global IPO Leader

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  • Data definitions for all charts

    The data presented on this webpage and in the Global IPO trends: 2021 report is from Dealogic and EY. Q4 2021 (i.e., October–December) and 2021 (January-December) are based on completed IPOs as of 7 December 2021 and expected IPOs in December (i.e., expected to start trading by 31 December). Data is up to COB 7 December. 

    • 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 as well as 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.
    • Middle East includes Bahrain, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
  • Definitions for IPO deals — top stock exchanges

    We have used data from the main market and the junior market if applicable. The labels on the horizontal axis are the stock exchange tickers (see below for their full names):

    Asia-Pacific

    • ASX: Australian Securities Exchange
    • HKEx: Hong Kong Stock Exchange Main Board and its junior market, Growth Enterprise Markets (GEM)
    • KRX: Korea Stock Exchange and its junior market, KOSDAQ
    • SSE: Shanghai Stock Exchange and Science and Technology Innovation Board (STAR)
    • SZSE: Shenzhen Stock Exchange and junior market ChiNext
    • TSE: Tokyo Stock Exchange Main Market and junior markets, MOTHERS and JASDAQ

    Europe, Middle East, India and Africa

    • FSE: Deutsche Börse Main Market and junior market, Scale
    • Euronext: Euronext (Amsterdam, Brussels, Lisbon, Paris) and junior market Alternext (Amsterdam, Brussels, Lisbon and Paris)
    • Indian: India’s National Stock Exchange and junior market, Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) board and Bombay Stock Exchange and junior market SME board
    • LSE: London Main Market and junior market, Alternative Investment Market (AIM)
    • NASDAQ OMX: NASDAQ OMX Nordics Main Market and junior market, First North, based in Copenhagen, Helsinki, Stockholm and Riga
    • TASE: Israel’s Tel Aviv Stock Exchange

    Americas

    • NASDAQ: US’s National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations exchange
    • NYSE: US’s New York Stock Exchange
    • B3: Sao Paulo Stock Exchange
  • 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.
    • Financial industries include asset management, banks, brokerage, credit institutions, diversified financials, government sponsored enterprises, insurance, as well as other financials.
    • Health care 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

Summary

Although 2021 promised an uncertain environment, the global IPO market broke records by both IPO volume and proceeds consistently into the fourth quarter. Optimism was bolstered by the rollout of COVID-19 vaccination programs, rebounding global economies and ample liquidity from government stimulus programs.

Growth was dominated by Europe, Middle East, India and Africa (EMEIA), producing the highest increase by number and proceeds of IPOs. The global technology sector was the most active, followed by health care and industrials. In 2022, IPO-bound companies should remain flexible as their timelines may shift. Well-articulated ESG plans will be required to satisfy investor demands.

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.