UK listed companies have raised more than £12bn in fresh capital from investors in the first half of this year, building the market back above pre-pandemic levels.
The pandemic caused a resurgence in UK capital markets activity last year, with funds raised by listed companies peaking at its highest level in over a decade.
Investors piled into public companies in the midst of the pandemic when even the heftiest of corporate heavyweights were rocked by restrictions and supply chains disruptions.
While pandemic-era issues have seeped into 2021, the capital rallied in the first half shows investors are confident in the UK’s post-pandemic market.
Some 357 companies listed on the London Stock Exchange raised new capital in the first half of this year, according to investment bank Goodbody’s latest analysis.
The total raised falls below the pandemic peak of £17bn raised in the same period last year, but well above average pre-pandemic levels of £9bn in each half over the last 10 years.
“In the face of unprecedented disruption, UK capital markets have proven to be an invaluable source of support for listed businesses,” head of Goodbody’s London office Piers Coombs said.
“Through the backing of investors, management teams have been able to plot a course through the pandemic and protect jobs. Now, investors are backing UK businesses to build back better as they capitalise on new opportunities for growth.”
Firms in the consumer discretionary industry rallied the most capital, raising more than £2.9bn in the first six months of the year.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, this includes sectors such as automotive and household goods as well as the travel and leisure sector, which all experienced heavy losses due to pandemic restrictions and the global chip shortage.
The healthcare industry followed after the global vaccine push stoked investor confidence in the pharmaceutical sphere, raising around £1bn so far.
After pandemic restrictions grounded flights across the globe, the UK’s travel stocks nosedived – buoyed only by strong-willed investors.
Just 13 companies in the travel and leisure sector managed to secure £2.2bn in capital this half-year alone.
A near half of that was raised by TUI’s £597m total investments and Jet2 £422m in investor support these past six months.