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UK remains Europe's busiest market for fundraising

written by Bella Palmer

However, there was only one fresh listing on the London market during the second quarter, according to EY’s latest market tracker IPO Eye

London-listed firms raised more than £21 billion in the first half of 2020 as UK PLC in the busiest six months of fundraising for existing issuers since the last global financial crisis in 2009.

But there was only one fresh listing on the London market during the second quarter, according to EY’s latest market tracker IPO Eye.

London was Europe's busiest market for fundraising during Q2, with more than 40% of the capital raised there. But by a combined measure of IPO and follow-on activity since January, London was ranked behind the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq together in first place, and Hong Kong in second.

Mike Timmins, EY Scotland IPO leader, said: London has again confirmed its status as a pre-eminent equity market globally, leading the way in Europe for the most follow-on capital raised in Q2 2020 (over 40%).

While IPO activity has been almost extinguished by Covid-19, in what is historically the busiest quarter of the year, the markets were focussed on supporting fundraising by existing issuers to shore-up finances to mitigate the impact of the pandemic, he said. This trend is mirrored in Scotland with many listed corporates considering asking shareholders to help fund uncertainty in the coming months.

Blackfinch Spring VCT PLC was the only main market IPO in Q2, raising £3 million in Q2 2020. The Shanghai-listed China Pacific Insurance Group also successfully raised £1.44bn by listing GDRs (Global Depositary Receipt) in London - the second listing under the London Shanghai Stock Connect programme.

In Q2 2020 AIM didn’t register any IPO activity. Since, launching in 1995 with 10 companies valued at £82 million, more than 3,800 companies have been admitted to AIM, raising over £115 billion. Q3 2020 opened with the AIM admission of Elixirr International PLC last week.

Helen Pratten, EY strategy and transactions partner, said: IPO pipelines continue to grow in major markets. A further rebound of IPO activity is expected in H2 2020, on the back of strong June global IPO performance.


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