Monday 8 July 2019 12:01 am

London equity capital markets remain resilient despite uncertainties

London remained a bright spot for equity capital markets as investors shrugged off economic and political uncertainties in the first half of this year. 

Total funds raised in the UK in the first half of this year reached £19.2bn, up from 22 per cent in the second half of 2018. 

Read more: Private equity investment boosts UK business revenue

The number of initial public offerings (IPOs) slumped in the first six months of the year, with only 21 listings across both the main market and AIM compared to 41 between January and June last year.

However, total funds raised via IPO increased by four per cent despite the downturn in deal numbers, according to research by KPMG. 

Marco Schwartz, head of KPMG’s equity capital markets advisory team, said: “The UK remained the centre of European equity issuance in the first half of the year, and we expect London to continue to attract both domestic and international companies seeking to raise capital.

“It is heartening to see continued investor appetite for growth companies, as exemplified by the successful completion of several high-profile and large IPOs over the past six months, including Network International, Trainline and Watches of Switzerland.”

Meanwhile European private equity markets began to cool in the second quarter of this year after a strong 2018. 

The volume of private equity backed deals fell by 13.6 per cent to 504, the weakest quarter since the beginning of 2018, according to figures published today by Unquote Data. 

Read more: US private equity activity slumps in first quarter

Unquote Data head of data and research Julian Longhurst said: “The preliminary second quarter stats confirm reports from market practitioners in recent months that deal-doing  conditions are getting harder.

“Pinpointing exactly what is behind this is difficult, though it is very likely that political uncertainty in general – and Brexit in particular – is having a negative impact on the private equity space, with some prospective vendors holding off until the situation is resolved.”