2017 global IPO outlook remains robust after promising Q1 results

Singapore, 6 April 2017

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  • Soaring global equity markets make Q1 2017 highest first quarter since 2007 by global number of IPOs
  • Asia-Pacific maintains its position as the global epicenter of IPO activity
  • Asean saw a near fourfold increase in funds raised compared with same period in 2016

Global IPO activity got off to a brisk start in the first quarter of 2017, led by market gains in Asia-Pacific and the US hosting the first two megadeals of the year.

In the first three months of 2017, some 369 IPOs raised US$33.7b, a 92% year-over-year increase in the global number of IPOs and a 146% increase in global proceeds. Moreover, Q1 2017 was the most active first quarter by global number of IPOs since Q1 2007 (with 399 IPOs raising US$47.5b). These and other findings were published today in the EY quarterly report, Global IPO Trends: Q1 2017.

Dr. Martin Steinbach, EY Global and EY EMEIA IPO Leader, says:

“This is a promising start to global IPO activity this year. In the face of sustained global economic uncertainty, the first quarter of this year has set the stage for accelerated growth in 2017. Economic fundamentals are improving in the major developed economies. Equity index performance and valuations are trending upward, with several major indices reaching all-time highs. Concurrently, volatility is low, underpinning positive IPO sentiment, which is also supported by the successful US listing of a large technology unicorn.”

Asia-Pacific dominates global IPOs

Asia-Pacific, led by Greater China, once again dominated global IPO activity in Q1 2017, accounting for 70% of the global number of IPOs and 48% by global proceeds. Greater China exchanges were the busiest, hosting 182 IPOs, with the Shenzhen and Shanghai exchanges being most active and accounting for 20% (73 IPOs) and 19% (70) of the global number of IPOs respectively.

However, activity was spread across the region with a healthy set of listings on public markets in Japan (27), Australia (23), Asean (14) and South Korea (12). In the short-term, Greater China, and by extension Asia-Pacific, is expected to continue its dominance of the global IPO market as the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) is anticipated to clear an extensive backlog of listings by increasing the pace of IPO approvals throughout this year.

While IPO activity is likely to increase on Mainland China and selected ASEAN exchanges during the second and third quarters, there may be a slowdown in new listings in other markets. Hence, this region may see a temporary drop in activity, but is expected to rebound in the final quarter of the year.

Max Loh, EY Asean and Singapore Managing Partner, Ernst & Young LLP, says:

“IPO activity in Asia-Pacific has been powering ahead due to the region’s relative insulation from political uncertainty elsewhere in the world, ample liquidity in emerging markets and strengthening investor sentiment on the back of reduced volatility and steady stock market gains. Investor confidence in Asean appears robust, where the region saw a fourfold increase in funds raised at US$1.3b compared with the same quarter in 2016.”

On the outlook for the Singapore IPO market, he adds:

“There is increasing interest from companies wanting to list on the SGX. Although other forms of fundraising, such as crowdfunding and private equity, are viable alternatives for capital-raising and expansion, local entrepreneurial companies ultimately have a preference for a Singapore listing as a platform for growth.”

The sectors with listing potential in Singapore include consumer products, industrials, health care and REITs. In this quarter, the real estate sector was a key driver. Following three large REITs IPOs last year, which raised US$1.4b in total, the trend continued in Q1 2017 with the US$108m IPO of Dasin Retail Trust on the Mainboard.”

EMEIA IPO activity affected by geopolitical uncertainty

With growing geopolitical uncertainty, activity in the EMEIA region increased slightly by 8.5% YOY, ranking second behind Asia-Pacific by number of IPOs in Q1 2017, and accounting for 21% and 15% of global number of IPOs and proceeds respectively. Bolsa de Madrid, London Main and AIM, and Bombay Main Market and SME were the three most active markets by proceeds. India and the UK were the most active regional markets with 26 and 12 IPOs respectively, followed by Saudi Arabia, which listed seven deals on its new platform, “Nomu – Parallel Market,” an alternative equity market with lighter listing requirements.

US market returns to form

US IPO activity got off to a strong start in 2017, easily surpassing Q1 2016 levels in terms of both IPO numbers and proceeds. IPO proceeds for Q1 2017 are the highest since Q2 2015 (72 IPOs raising US$14.3b). The quarter saw a total of 24 IPOs raising US$10.8b, an increase of 1,380% in terms of proceeds and 200% by volume on Q1 2016. During Q1 2017, the US accounted for four of the top ten deals globally. The NYSE led IPO proceeds globally this quarter due its hosting of the only two US$1b plus megadeals.

2017 outlook is upbeat, despite mixed signals

The reaction to geopolitical events in the financial markets has been far more positive than many had predicted. Pent-up demand for public offerings suggests global IPOs will continue to rise in 2017, with pipelines full, particularly in Asia-Pacific.

Steinbach concludes:

“Overall, global IPO markets had the best start with the highest first quarter by global number of IPOs since 2007. The upswing is buoyed by a strong desire for investors to generate returns and the positive momentum from a strong IPO activity in the fourth quarter 2016. However, ongoing uncertainty continues to define the global conversation, in spite of the market rallies seen in many main market indices after respective US presidential and Brexit votes.”


Notes to editors

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This news release has been issued by Ernst & Young LLP, a member of the global EY organization that also does not provide any services to clients.

About the data

Analysis included on this press release includes all deals listed up to 24 March 2017 and EY’s expectation of deals that will close in the rest of the month. Data is sourced from Dealogic as of 24 March 2017. January 2017 through March 2017 (i.e., 1Q17 YTD) IPO activity is based on priced IPOs as of 24 March 2017 and expected IPOs by the end of March 2017.

Appendix: Q1 2017 Global IPO activity

EY - Q1 2017 Global IPO activity

Appendix: Q1 2017 global IPOs by sector


Number of IPOs

% of global IPOs

Proceeds (US$m)

% of global proceeds

Consumer products





Consumer staples















Health care




















Media and entertainment





Real estate















Global total





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