IPO market makes comeback as China readies huge listing

Steve Dinneen
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THE global initial public offering (IPO) market made a remarkable recovery in the first quarter of this year, and the pace of listings shows no sign of tailing off.

Last night, the Agricultural Bank of China was readying an IPO‚Äąthat could raise a staggering $25bn (£19bn) – making it the biggest share offering ever. So far, China’s ICBC, which raised $21.9bn in 2006, was the biggest.
There have already been 267 IPOs so far this year, compared with just 52 at the start of 2009. The value of offerings has risen from $1.4bn (£920m) to $53.2bn for the same period.

The UK blazed the trail in Europe, with 11 IPOs, valued at around $2bn. Europe as a whole regained its confidence despite a string of failed IPOs early in the quarter. Three deals raised more than $900m, bringing the total value of deals in Europe to more than $8bn from 39 deals.

This dwarfed the value of deals in the US, which raised $4.2bn through 25 flotations.

China continues to lead the way, with 41 per cent of the world’s IPO activity. It had 109 flotations valued at $19.4bn.

Asia had nine of the 20 largest IPOs, including the single biggest float. Asia as a whole accounted for 62 per cent of IPOs, with 166 deals valued at $35.1bn.

Gregory Ericksen, global vice chair at Ernst & Young, said: “With global capital markets becoming more stable, coupled with a strong IPO pipeline, we forecast 2010 global IPO activities will continue to be strong.”