COMPANIES have raised more than $26bn (£16bn) through IPOs so far this year, to make it the best start to the year on record, says Dealogic.
According to the data group, there is also a global backlog of $48bn in deals, which looks set to make 2011 a record-breaking year.
The early flurry, which has mainly been in the US, includes the IPOs of energy company Kinder Morgan, which raised around $2.86bn, and media group Nielsen, which raised $1.89bn.
Hospital operator HCA is expected to top them with an IPO worth more than $4bn, making it the largest private equity backed flotation.
Europe has lagged behind the US in terms of listings because of concerns over economic growth and Eurozone debt, but there is still a healthy demand for IPOs compared to the last three years.
The surge in dealmaking comes despite advisers’ fears over unrest in the Middle East and the rising cost of oil.