Global IPO outlook remains robust after promising Q1 2018 results

Singapore, 29 March 2018

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  • Asean is one of the most active markets in Asia-Pacific
  • Global IPO capital raised is up 28% but deal numbers are down 27% year-over-year on Q1 2017

Despite geopolitical uncertainties and market volatility, global IPO activity in the first three months of 2018 posted strong results to start the year. Global IPO markets raised US$42.8b in Q1 2018, a 28% year-over-year (YOY) increase on Q1 2017.

However, with 287 listings this quarter, volume was down 27% YOY compared with Q1 2017, when it produced the highest number of listings for first quarter IPOs since 2007. These and other findings were published today in the EY quarterly report, Global IPO trends: Q1 2018.

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

“Global growth in IPO proceeds outpaced deal numbers in a relatively strong first quarter. Driven by larger transactions, global IPO activity started out with a strong increase in proceeds in what is traditionally the slowest quarter of the year, despite a decline in deal numbers. However, market volatility in February did slightly dampen investor confidence, slowing momentum gained from calendar year 2017, the highest performing 12 month period since 2007. Looking ahead, the outlook remains positive in many markets around the world and we expect to continue to see IPOs from a range of sources including large tech, high growth, cross-border listings, carve-outs and state-owned enterprises.”

Asia-Pacific sees slow start but Asean markets remain active

Asia-Pacific markets saw a decline in deal activity in Q1 2018 with 157 IPOs – a 39% drop when compared with Q1 2017, and the lowest quarterly total since Q2 2016. Total proceeds this quarter stood at US$11.4b, down 26% compared to Q1 2017 and the lowest level since Q1 2016. However, despite the drop in IPO activity, Asia-Pacific remained the world’s busiest region for new listings in Q1 2018.

Momentum was sustained partly by the markets in Asean, where the exchanges hosted 18 IPOs in Q1 2018, a 20% increase by deals compared with Q1 2017. This growth was driven mainly by IPOs on the junior markets, which saw nine IPOs this quarter compared to six IPOs in Q1 2017.

Notwithstanding the increase in deal volumes, total proceeds raised from Asean exchanges declined to US$661m in Q1 2018, down from Q1 2017 (US$1,146m). The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET and MAI) held the top spot among Asean markets with six IPOs raising US$373m, while Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HOSE) raised $184m from one IPO.

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

“IPO activity in Asia-Pacific in Q1 2018 was defined by the slower pace of Mainland China IPOs due to greater regulatory scrutiny and a slowdown in various markets. Bucking the trend, the Hong Kong Exchange saw an increase in deals that made it the busiest exchange in the world.

“Asean IPO markets were active in Q1 2018 as we saw the largest number of deals quarter-on-quarter since 2014. The pipeline for IPOs across Asean in 2018 looks fuller than in 2017, boosted by strong economic fundamentals in these markets. However, Asean exchanges will need to brace itself for headwinds from geopolitical risks; availability of alternative sources of funding such as private equity and crowdfunding; and uncertainties around trade policies and reforms.”

Americas begins 2018 with increased US IPO activity

Americas IPO activity started out on a high in the only region up over Q1 2017 in terms of proceeds and number of deals. There were 44 IPOs in the Americas in Q1 2018 raising US$15.4b, an increase of 29% in terms of volume and 22% by proceeds compared to Q1 last year. Five of the top ten global deals were featured in the US.

EMEIA benefits from European mega deals and strong performances in India

EMEIA markets raised US$16.0b in Q1 2018 with 86 deals, placing the region second to Asia-Pacific in terms of deal numbers. Proceeds rose by 191% on the back of mega deals. Of this activity, Europe accounted for 39 IPOs raising US$14.7b, of which 6 IPOs alone raised US$9.8b. Emerging markets contributed strongly to overall IPO performance, with India’s Bombay and National exchanges recording a 14% increase in proceeds raised compared to Q1 2017 and a slight increase (5%) in terms of deal numbers (39 IPOs).

2018 outlook is upbeat, despite mixed signals

The outlook for 2018 looks to be promising driven by strong equity markets and sound corporate earnings. Despite expected interest rate hikes also later this year and uncertainty around potential trade policies, steady investor confidence is encouraging a healthy pipeline across sectors and markets this year.


Notes to Editors

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This news release has been issued by Ernst & Young LLP, a member of the global EY organization.

About EY’s Initial Public Offering Services
EY is a leader in helping companies go public worldwide. With decades of experience, our global network is dedicated to serving market leaders and helping businesses evaluate the pros and cons of an initial public offering (IPO). We demystify the process by offering IPO readiness assessments, IPO preparation, project management and execution services, all of which help prepare you for life in the public spotlight. Our Global IPO Center of Excellence is a virtual hub, which provides access to our IPO knowledge, tools, thought leadership and contacts from around the world in one easy-to-use source.

About the data
Analysis in this press release includes all deals listed up to 14 March 2018 and EY’s expectation of deals that will close in the rest of the month. Data has been sourced from Dealogic as of 14 March 2018. IPO activity from January 2018 through March 2018 is based on priced IPOs as of 14 March 2018 and expected IPOs by the end of 31 March 2018.

EY - 2009 – Q1 2018 global IPO activit

Appendix: January 2018 to March 2018 global IPOs by sector


Number of IPOs

Percentage of global IPOs

Proceeds (US$m)

Percentage of global capital raised

Consumer products and services





Consumer staples















Health care




















Media and entertainment





Real estate















Global total