Major shift in global IPO market share from the past five years

The year kicked off on a cautiously optimistic note, marked by a selective thaw following a quieter period. The Americas and EMEIA IPO markets had a bright start in 2024, increasing global proceeds. However, the Asia-Pacific region started on a weak note, weighing down the overall global volume. For Q1 2024, the global IPO market saw 287 deals raise US$23.7b, a 7% decrease but a 7% increase year-over-year (YOY), respectively. These and other findings are available in the EY Global IPO Trends Q1 2024.

In Q1 2024, a majority of key IPO markets witnessed a significant number of newly issued IPOs whose current share prices surpassed their offer prices. This trend could indicate an improvement in valuations and pricing levels, reflecting growing confidence among issuers and investors.

An IPO is one of the pinnacle achievements for private equity (PE) firms, serving as a public showcase of their acumen and a defining milestone in their growth journey. In Q1 2024, approximately 10 PE-backed IPOs came to the market, five of which were featured among the top 10 global IPOs, a testament to their significant market presence.

The promise and reach of the artificial intelligence (AI) vertical is currently experiencing significant growth within the private realm, with the majority of AI and AI-associated businesses still in the seed or early stage of venture capital (VC) rounds. This suggests there could be a surge in IPOs in future years as these companies mature in the private domain before making a public debut.

Overall regional performance: Americas and EMEIA recovering and Asia-Pacific plunging

The global IPO market has experienced significant shifts in geographical composition, driven by ongoing macroeconomic and geopolitical dynamics.

The Americas continued to exhibit strong performance in IPO activity compared with both the previous quarter and Q1 2023, with 52 deals and US$8.4b in proceeds, up 21% and up a whopping 178%, respectively, YOY. Each of the top seven deals in Q1 2024 raised over US$500m, versus just one in Q1 2023. The US, after experiencing a 20-year low in proceeds in 2022, has finally witnessed a noticeable recovery in the first quarter of the year, riding on the wave of the market rally from last year.

Driven by a subdued IPO market sentiment across the region, Asia-Pacific IPO activity in Q1 recorded 119 deals and US$5.8b in proceeds, down 34% and 56% YOY, respectively. This decline was especially sharp in Mainland China and Hong Kong, with the number of deals decreasing more than half and deal size falling by nearly two-thirds. Both markets have experienced a consistent decline in IPO activity over the past few years. There have been only 10 IPOs so far this year in Hong Kong, with two exceeding US$100m in proceeds, marking a historic low since 2010 in terms of both number and proceeds. Japan was the only market in Asia-Pacific to see a slight increase in deal count in the first quarter, with the Nikkei Index hitting an all-time high in February.

The EMEIA IPO market witnessed an impressive growth at the start of the year, launching 116 IPOs totaling US$9.5b in the first quarter, up 40% and 58% YOY, respectively. This surge was attributed to larger average deal sizes from IPOs in Europe and India, which enabled EMEIA to maintain first place in global IPO market share by proceeds since Q4 2023. Since 2019, India has rapidly gained prominence, particularly in the number of IPOs, and has now emerged as a standout performer.

Q2 2024 outlook: capitalizing on fleeting windows amid heightened uncertainties

George Chan, EY Global IPO Leader, says: “As 2024 unfolds, participants in the IPO market are entering uncharted territory. IPO candidates are influenced by the recent pivot in investors’ preference toward proven profitability in an altered interest rate landscape, and are doing this while facing the intricate dynamics of an intensified geopolitical climate and the buzz around AI. To succeed in this shifting environment, IPO prospects must remain flexible and prepared to seize the right moment for their public debuts.”

The IPO market thus far in 2024 has shown signs of vigor, with an upswing in IPO activity. Despite the restrained overall market activity in previous years, there’s an uptick in enthusiasm from both IPO issuers and investors, hinting at shifting market dynamics and a more welcoming landscape for public listings​​.

The global economy will remain on a soft growth trajectory in 2024, with developed markets likely to see modest growth while emerging markets stay on a firmer growth path. Stock markets have already priced in the expectation of rate cuts in various major economies.

Just as investors and IPO candidates adapt to the new norm of higher interest rates and reduced liquidity, they will also need to navigate through additional layers of complexity in the geopolitical and global election landscape in the IPO market. As elections this year amplify uncertainty, IPO candidates will need to closely monitor election outcomes and assess how specific policies could affect stakeholder interests and re-evaluate IPO strategies and timing as necessary.

AIeconomyEY Global IPO Trends Q1 2024IPO marketshift
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