Global IPO activity slows sharply in Q1: EY

SINGAPORE - Global IPO activity slowed sharply in the first three months of the year with a total of 167 deals raising just US$12.1 billion (S$16.5 billion) according to the latest quarterly EY Global IPO Trends.

This was the weakest first quarter since 2009 with a 39 per cent drop in volume and a 70 per cent decline in total capital raised from initial public offerings (IPOs) compared with the same period last year.

Fears of a global economic slowdown, increased volatility, falling oil prices and stock market turbulence have all contributed to the slow start to the year, said professional services firm Ernst & Young (EY).

In the Asia-Pacific, IPO volumes fell by 31 per cent (102 deals) and capital raised by 55 per cent (US$6.6 billion) in the first quarter from a year ago. Yet the region was still the most active, accounting for 61 per cent of global IPO volumes.

Said Max Loh, EY's Asean and Singapore managing partner: "First quarter results have shown that IPO activity in Asia-Pacific is clearly not immune to concerns over global growth, equity market volatility or fluctuating commodity prices. The good news is that while a slowdown is evident, the region is still the world's most active in terms of IPO listings and the prospects for a swift rebound are positive."

"Japan remains on course for another record year in terms of IPO volumes, while the Chinese market has stabilized and is gathering momentum for a recovery."

Given economic and market volatility, depressed commodity prices and currency depreciation, Asean had a quiet first quarter. Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam saw a combined 11 deals raising US$205 million.