New York wins big in global IPO boom - and that's even before Snap's flotation is counted

Tracey Boles and Imran Khan
Dow Jones Index Crosses 18,000 Mark
Global initial public offerings totalled $15.2bn (£12.3bn) during the first two months of 2017, more than double 2016 levels over the same period (Source: Getty)
he New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), home to this week’s eagerly-awaited IPO from Snap, has been the most popular exchange for new listings globally so far this year.

The findings come as new data shows that the number of flotations worldwide has surged to levels not seen since before the credit crunch.

With 187 offerings already priced so far this year, the number of global IPOs is off to the strongest annual start since 2007 when there were 201 offerings, according to new data from Thomson Reuters.

Read more: Snap raises $3.4bn in biggest tech float since Facebook

It found that global initial public offerings totalled $15.2bn (£12.3bn) during the first two months of 2017, more than double 2016 levels over the same period.

The NYSE leads global exchanges with $4.2bn raised in eight new listings this year, compared with just a single $81m offering by this time last year. Shanghai and Shenzhen ChiNext round out the top three stock exchanges.

The figures do not include today’s blockbuster float in New York. Last night Snap, owner of popular messaging app Snapchat, priced its initial public offering in New York at $17 per share, above its projected range – valuing the firm at an eye-watering $24bn.

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The company goes public without having ever turned a profit.

Nonetheless, it is due to start trading today in what is the most closely-watched technology IPO since Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba made its debut in 2014. It is also the first major social media IPO since Twitter.

Los Angeles-based Snap, once an app where users could share disappearing picture messages, now refers to itself a “camera company”.

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Despite widening losses and slowing user growth, Snap has urged investors to have faith in the vision of its co-founder Evan Spiegel, whom it introduced in its investor roadshow as a “once in a generation founder”.

Commenting on the overall uptick in floats, Matt Toole from Thomson

Reuters said yesterday: “As for the IPO boom, I’d say there’s pent-up investor demand for new offerings. Last year was the slowest year for global and UK IPO activity since 2012 and the slowest year for US listings since 2003.”

Read more: The company behind the world's biggest IPO is set to publish its finances

“From a markets perspective, there was quite a bit of uncertainty in the market last year with the Brexit vote and the US presidential election and although both of the outcomes bring more uncertainty, they are outcomes. Having the FTSE 100 and Dow Jones hit all-time records today certainly bodes well for companies looking to go public.”

Meanwhile, the London Stock Exchange has seen six IPOs raise $532.2m this year, down from $1.8bn from four flotations in the first two months of 2016.

Yesterday, the City’s watchdog published proposals designed to make IPOs in London more transparent following long-standing criticism from investors.

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