Finally, a British centurion: London Stock Exchange notches up 100 floats for the year

 
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The London Stock Exchange has not hit the 100 float mark since 2014 (Source: Getty)

The London Stock Exchange (LSE) today notched up its 100th company flotation of 2017 this week, breaking the century barrier for the first time in three years thanks to a strong international showing and a proliferation of investment fund listings.

Northern Irish healthcare firm Fusion Antibodies and Israeli miner Shefa Yamim were this morning admitted to the exchange in the 99th and 100th initial public offerings (IPOs) of the year.

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Fusion, spun out of Queen’s University Belfast in 2001, raised £5.5m to fund its expansion, while Shefa Yamim is looking to raise £5m in its bid to start mining for precious stones.

And the festive IPO rush may not have finished just yet. British games developer Sumo Group this morning announced plans for a £145m float. Meanwhile, in-video advertising tech firm Mirriad Advertising could also list just in time for Christmas as well.

The late flurry of listings will push the overall value of listings to date to around £14.8bn, around four times higher than the next European competitor, according to data from the London Stock Exchange up to the end of last week.

The figures also reveal a striking trend towards international floats, with 20 North American companies choosing London during 2017 so far.

Nine of the top 10 IPOs from the last year have come from outside of the UK, led by Allied Irish Banks, Russian energy and commodities conglomerate EN+, and US-based J2 Acquisition.

Nikhil Rathi, chief executive of the LSE, part of the LSE Group, said: “Despite the challenges Brexit presents, London’s highly global, deep and liquid capital markets continue to be the ideal partner for funding the world’s growth.

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“It is particularly significant that the number of international listings in London is up, with North American listings up nearly seven-fold on last year.”

The LSE recorded its best year so far for real estate investment trusts and other funds, tripling its takings compared to 2016.

The LSE will hope to continue its run of form in 2018 under a new chief executive, after former boss Xavier Rolet resigned in an attempt to end a battle with an activist investor.

Investors will vote on Tuesday on whether to remove chairman Donald Brydon, the culmination of a campaign by hedge fund manager Sir Chris Hohn against the board.

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