London’s IPO Market Has Dried Up

London’s IPO Market Has Dried Up

11 months ago2 mins

Mentioned in story

Data out on Tuesday showed that London’s initial public offering (IPO) market has shriveled even more dramatically than its peers.

What does this mean?

Listings have been a tough nut to crack for everyone this year, but London's IPO scene is looking especially dismal. See, New York and Europe's IPOs may have raised the least dough since 2016 and 2020 respectively, but that still amounts to $3.5 billion in the US and $2.2 billion in Europe. In London, though, that figure’s a measly $14 million – yes, “million” with an M – raised on the back of three titchy listings. That means the British market’s hit a 14-year low, and raised less than 1% of what either counterpart has scraped together. As for why: try Brexit blues, political mayhem, and economic hiccups – a mix that has firms and investors wondering if London's got the moxie to remain Europe's central financial hub.

Why should I care?

For markets: A tale of two cities.

That lack of investor appetite is a big deal: one key valuation measure puts the S&P 500 at almost double the FTSE 100 right now, and that’s got serious implications. Just take a look at SoftBank-owned Arm: the firm decided to list solely in New York, despite pleas and sweet talk from the British government. And it’s not just new listings, either: some publicly traded firms, like CRH, are packing their bags and moving their primary listings, ditching Big Ben for the Big Apple.

UK stocks cheap

Zooming out: Cheer up, chaps.

It’s not all bad news for Britain. The pound was actually the best performing developed-market currency in the quarter that just ended, and it celebrated that feat with a little victory dance on Tuesday – shimmying up to its highest levels since June. Brits have probably got the unexpectedly resilient economy to thank: Deutsche Bank no longer even sees the country’s economy shrinking this year.

Pound climbs
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