| LONDON, March 31
LONDON, March 31 Global equity listings rose in
the first quarter compared with a year earlier, driven by
issuance in Asia and the United States, Thomson Reuters data
showed, pointing to a more buoyant year for share sales than
Companies globally issued $189 billion of equity in the
first quarter of the year, up 58 percent from the first quarter
of 2016, which was the worst since 2008.
Upbeat news on the economy helped boost equity capital
market activity by U.S. firm by almost 70 percent, delivering
proceeds of $59 billion in the first quarter. But global
issuance remained below the 2012-2016 first quarter average of
"We have had a backdrop of rising markets, low volatility
and better macroeconomic data. These combine to produce strong
appetite for new issues," Bank of America's global head of
equity capital markets, Craig Coben, said.
"The equity calendar is highly seasonal and so Q2 will
really be a litmus test for new-issue appetite as it is
generally the busiest quarter of the year."
London, Europe's biggest market for initial public
offerings, bucked the global trend with equity listings at a
Russell Holden, corporate partner at international law firm
Taylor Wessing, said he expected this to continue as companies
waited for more favourable conditions.
"With the share price gains over the past six months,
combined with some uncertainty over the outcome of the Brexit
negotiations, a market correction may be down the road so
investors are taking a cautious approach at the moment and do
not want to be overpaying for assets."
Expected listings of Blackstone's warehousing
business Logicor and Telefonica's UK telecoms operator
O2 may bolster the IPO market in Britain in the coming quarters.
In continental Europe, Gestamp is set to become the biggest
IPO this year when it lists on April 7 with a valuation of
around 3.5 billion euros ($3.75 billion).
Goldman Sachs overtook JP Morgan as the
leading bank for equity capital markets globally in the first
quarter, thanks to its mandates for follow-on offerings. JP
Morgan kept the top spot for IPOs globally.
Representing more than a tenth of global follow-on proceeds,
Italian bank UniCredit had the biggest equity offering
of the year so far, raising 13.8 billion euros and potentially
generating hundreds of millions dollars in fees for banks.
The listing of Snap Inc, owner of photo sharing app
Snapchat, was the biggest IPO of the quarter helping to produce
a 17-fold increase in total U.S. IPO proceeds.
Ed Sankey, EMEA Co-Head ECM and Global Head of Equity
Syndicate at Deutsche Bank, said merger and
acquisition activity, subsidiary IPOs and privatisations by
European governments would drive deal flow.
"There was a wave of IPO exits in 2013-15 and this year we
don't expect to see the sheer number we saw in that time frame,
especially from private equity in this time zone, but globally
we expect a busier year than 2016."
($1 = 0.9327 euros)
(Editing by Jane Merriman)