Global IPO market is on fire; Q1 proceeds surge 529%


  1. Global IPO proceeds in Q1 surged by a whopping 529%.
  2. The total ECM activity picked up by 229%.
  3. SPAC deals have helped the cause of equity markets.

The equity capital market (ECM) activity in quarter ended March 2021 touched an unprecedented level, according to data collated from various sources.

According to the data available with Dealogic – a financial markets platform offering integrated content and analytics – the ECM activity in the first quarter of 2021 stood at US$465.5 billion– the historical quarterly high. This is spread across 2,104 deals.

The total ECM activity has surged by 229% on a year-on-year basis, driven primarily by the surge in the initial public offerings (IPOs).

The proceeds from global IPOs, during the quarter, surged by an astounding 529% on a year-on-year basis to US$200.9 billion raised against 760 deals. The fresh listings made up almost 43.15% of the total ECM deal value that took place during the three-month period.

As per the data available with the global consultancy firm Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC), current year’s IPOs constitute 61% of total IPO value that the world saw in 2020 – US$331.3 billion.

The IPOs through the Special Purpose Acquisition Vehicle (SPAC) route also contributed heavily to the increase in record ECM during the quarter, with SPAC IPOs contributing about US$97 billion to the record global IPO volume of US$200.9 billion. Till now, in the current year, companies have raised US$107.3 billion from 343 SPAC deals – usually referred to as a backdoor entry for the firms to access the capital markets.

In the APAC region as well, the secondary listing of Chinese companies in the Hong Kong markets have contributed to the increase in the ECM. Also, foreign money flows into Chinese placements helped the cause, as they strive for quality play at reasonable valuation.

In Europe, the IPO boom is being driven by the rush in Technologyignites IPO activity across Europe’s exchanges.

After the global markets shred past the bear run of March 2020, the ECM activity has picked up left, right, and centre. As a result, all three quarters since Q2 2020 also occupy a spot on the list of the five highest volume quarters ever.

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