London leads Europe in cross-border floats as global IPO market rebounds

Jasper Jolly
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London was the top European destination for cross-border listing in the first half of 2017 (Source: Getty)

London was the European capital for cross-border stock market floats in the first half of the year, after global deal values doubled compared with last year.

The London Stock Exchange was the top European listing destination by value for international floats thanks mainly to the initial public offering (IPO) of Allied Irish Banks (AIB), according to a study by law firm Baker McKenzie.

The float by the Irish government, which bailed out AIB during the global financial crisis, helped push the total raised by cross-border IPOs to $3.8bn (£2.9bn), up from the $250m raised in the first half of last year.

There were also two more cross-border floats in London than the equivalent period last year, as the global market rebounded in line with improving economic fundamentals and a relatively more settled political environment.

Read more: Value of London stock market floats triples in second quarter

Global cross-border IPO activity doubled from 29 deals in the first half of 2016 to 59 in the first half of 2017, while the total value also doubled from $5.8bn to $12.2bn.

The eight listings accounted for two-thirds of the cross-border IPOs in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Edward Bibko, EMEA head of capital markets at Baker McKenzie, said: “2017 has been a very different year to the disastrous 2016, during which companies and investors sat on the sidelines awaiting the outcomes of the Brexit referendum and the US election.

“Companies continue to view London as a premium listing venue, with deep liquidity and a rich list of peers and investors.”

However, the number of deals in London remains well below 2015 levels, when 15 floats raised £2.5bn.

Hong Kong remains the top destination for cross-border listings, with 24 in the first half of 2016 as the Chinese authorities seek to encourage a more mature stock market.

Read more: UK-founded Hollywood movie company returns home with London IPO

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