IPO Activity Record: The First Time That Over USD 200 Billion Was Raised During The First Half Of Any Year

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Baker McKenzie | H1 2021 saw a surge in IPO activity, driven by high liquidity, investor enthusiasm and the rise of SPACs. Capital raising during H1 2021 reached historic highs at over USD 290 billion, the first time that over USD 200 billion was raised during the first half of any year. This reflects a 220% year-on-year increase in capital raising. Deal volume also grew at a strong 143% year-on-year (to 1,263 deals).

Domestic IPOs dominated the landscape, accounting for 77% of all public listings during 2021 so far. US- and China-based issuers led the pack with 424 and 211 listings, respectively, followed by Canada (63), Australia (60), and Japan (53).

Cross-border activity also grew, with volume increasing by 91% year-on-year and value increasing by 232% year-on-year. The strong recovery of Mainland China’s economy provided a boost in cross-border listings to Hong Kong and the US.

Top exchanges

The Nasdaq and the NYSE were the top exchange destinations in H1 2021, raising over USD 160 billion across 519 IPOs. Over 80% of IPO issuers were US-based.

Continued growth in Mainland China domestic listings bolstered the performance of the Shenzhen and Shanghai exchanges. Other strong performers included the ASX, TSX (mainboard, TSXV and NEX Board), Japan Exchange Group, KRX and HKEx (mainboard and GEM). Euronext Amsterdam was boosted by two cross-border megadeals, worth over USD 1 billion each, bringing capital raising for Euronext to over USD 4 billion for the first time since 2018.

Top industries

The financial sector led in terms of value (USD 124 billion raised) and volume (455 deals), most notably due to the number of SPAC IPOs, with over 350 SPACs going public to raise USD 103 billion. High Technology and Healthcare came in second and third in the rankings for both value and volume, as the COVID-19 pandemic helped to drive investments into these sectors, particularly in Mainland China.

All regions saw a significant boost in public listings, driven primarily by domestic IPOs.

The most significant increase in terms of value and volume were recorded in North America, Asia Pacific and EMEA. This section breaks down key figures from H1 2021 and what to expect on the road ahead.

About the Author

The Corner
The Corner has a team of on-the-ground reporters in capital cities ranging from New York to Beijing. Their stories are edited by the teams at the Spanish magazine Consejeros (for members of companies’ boards of directors) and at the stock market news site Consenso Del Mercado (market consensus). They have worked in economics and communication for over 25 years.