Global volumes of initial public offerings around the world fell 5% year over year in the first three quarters of 2023, according to a survey by EY.
The EY Global IPO Trends Q3 2023 revealed that 968 IPOs were recorded from January to September, with US$101.2b capital raised.
Despite this, market momentum is building, with Q3 having witnessed a notable improvement in post-IPO share price performance compared with previous quarters. Three quarters into 2023, the global IPO market has seen a change in the dynamics involving improved market sentiment in major Western countries, the prospect of high-profile US IPOs, robust emerging markets and a cooling China IPO market. These and other findings are available in the .
In the past decade, IPO numbers and proceeds from emerging markets have both increased by more than 30%, primarily due to faster economic growth compared to developed countries.
Until this point of 2023, emerging markets accounted for 77% of the global share by number and 75% by value. They embraced new entrants to the active IPO arena, such as Turkey and Romania, in addition to the already thriving countries like Indonesia, Malaysia and India. In developed markets, the US witnessed a higher number of larger deals, while Japan and Italy contributed to the growth of smaller deals.
The technology sector continues to dominate global IPO activity in 2023. However, if excluding the blockbuster chip designer IPO, the entire sector would register a decline in proceeds.
There hasn't been substantial growth in IPO debuts for artificial intelligence (AI) startups, but they are beginning to emerge in the IPO pipeline. Industrials moved into the second spot amid solid expansion across most of its subsectors. Unicorn IPOs, on the other hand, have experienced a substantial decrease in volume and proceeds of more than 80% YOY, notably in classic growth sectors such as technology, and health and life sciences.
Overall regional performance: post-IPO share price has improved across regions
The first nine months of 2023 present a mixed picture for Asia-Pacific IPOs, with volume and proceeds down YOY by 8% and 41%, respectively, even though the region presents an approximate 60% share of global market share.
Governments across most of the APAC region are trying hard to stimulate economic growth and IPO activity through initiatives such as reducing stamp duty taxes. Also, due to softness in key markets, Asia-Pacific saw fewer deals the past two years. There is general optimism over large deals in the pipeline, with an expected modest uptick in IPOs next quarter or early 2024.
Across ASEAN, the IPO market remained robust, with a total of 125 deals raising US$5.1b year-to-date (YTD), up from 106 deals raising US$4.3b during the same period in 2022. ASEANexchanges that were most active YTD were Indonesia (68 IPOs raising US$3.5b), Thailand (26 IPOs raising US$837m), Malaysia (25 IPOs raising US$698m). YTD, the Philippines and Singapore each saw three IPOs on their exchanges, raising US$74.6m and US$21.1m respectively.
The Americas region saw an outstanding 159% increase in proceeds, raising US$19.3b, YOY for the initial three quarters of 2023. Out of the 113 IPOs this year, 96 of them stemmed from the US. The US is also the only market that has attracted more cross-border IPOs and is welcoming long-awaited blockbuster IPOs. Special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) IPO activity thus far in 2023 has hit a seven-year low in terms of proceeds, and is down to levels not seen since in 2016. While the traditional IPO market show signs of recovery, SPAC IPO activity is likely to be muted in the near term as the focus shifts to completing or unwinding those yet to de-SPAC.
Since the start of the year, EMEIA saw 286 IPOs, which raised US$21.9b, a YOY increase of 2% in volume but a 44% reduction in proceeds. EMEIA-based stock markets have adapted to a “new normal” amid tightening in financial conditions and market liquidity, yet stayed surprisingly robust and stable, with investors displaying increased confidence. A distinct trend in EMEIA is the growing interest in IPOs in the energy sector, along with environmental, social and governance (ESG) -related equity stories.
Q4 2023 outlook: new interest rate environment
Across major Western economies, interest rates are forecast to stay high, as central banks try to bring persistent inflation down to target levels. Consequently, the cost of capital remains elevated, which, along with tighter credit, makes financing more challenging.
Investors will continue to care more about the fundamentals such as a strong balance sheet, healthy cash flows and resilience amid weak economic conditions rather than how fast the company can grow and how high the valuation could reach. Investors are also likely to be more interested in companies with an ESG concept and those that can demonstrate the adoption of AI application into the business models and operations.
IPO candidates will need to be agile with innovative business models, be resilient when facing supply chain constraints and macroeconomic challenges, have strong working capital and be able to adapt to new ways of doing business by embracing technology and AI applications.