Bottom Line: Slow and steady wins this race to market

Julian Harris
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ONE NEEDS to look no further than the World Cup for a reminder of how people love to swing from one extreme to the other. An embarrassing 5-1 defeat to the Netherlands, for example, and suddenly Spain – the current World Cup holders and winners of the last two European Championships – are deemed to be a spent force.

This year’s new issues are another case in point. Firstly we had a stampede of bulls telling us that nothing could go wrong in such a plentiful and revitalised market, and now – following several less-than-spectacular or entirely botched launches – there are packs of bears predicting doom at every turn. Andy Brough of Schroders, for example, said that Saga’s dismal showing had “probably killed” the market.

Yesterday’s news won’t have helped. With M&M staying private, Wizz calling off its IPO, and MySale suffering a calamitous start, it’s little wonder that folk are focusing on the bearish stories of AO World, Just Eat, Card Factory, Pets at Home and so on. It’s a long list.

But these things tend to be self-correcting. BlackRock and Deutsche Bank analysts both argued last week that too many floats are simply being rushed. Investors need more time and more information; and once they get it, they’re likely to provide a warmer reception.

There are lots of floats still to come this year, with Zoopla, DFS, and the RAC joining the queue behind SSP and TSB. The race to market isn’t over – maybe it just needs to become a bit less like a race.