UK continues to be the leading centre throughout Europe for capital raising

As businesses around the world continue to grapple with the economic impact of the pandemic, the UK’s public markets stand behind them supporting companies in their fund raising and growth ambitions.

Marcus Stuttard is Head of AIM & UK Primary Markets at London Stock Exchange
Marcus Stuttard is Head of AIM & UK Primary Markets at London Stock Exchange

This ultimately fuels innovation, enables economic growth and supports job creation.

The UK continues to be the leading centre in Europe for capital raising. With over £27bn in equity capital raised in the first half of 2021 in IPOs and follow-on equity capital raisings, London continues to be Europe’s most active exchange for equity issuance.

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This is the most equity capital raised in the first six months of the year since 2014 and includes 49 new IPOs and a broad range of existing listed companies raising further capital.

As we saw last year during the height of the pandemic, companies already listed on our markets were able to quickly and efficiently raise capital, sometimes in a matter of hours. This enabled them to not only shore up balance sheets, but also fund innovation and growth.

As markets have stabilised, activity in initial public offerings have roared back to life, with ever more companies making their debut on the public markets. As the UK opens up we expect this trend to continue and the future pipeline of new companies looking to list on London Stock Exchange to grow.

In 2021, we’ve seen a range of businesses from across the UK join the market from across the UK, including Thurso-based battery producer AMTE Power, Manchester-based In The Style, Stockport- based musicMagpie, Edinburgh-based Parsley Box and Liverpool-based Victorian Plumbing.

Recognising the significance of building sustainable businesses, AMTE Power and musicMagpie also received the Green Economy Mark, which is only awarded to companies and funds that generate over 50 per cent of their revenue from green products and services.

Sustainability isn’t the only trend that is seeing rapid growth. The funds raised by tech and consumer internet companies accounted for 50 per cent of the equity capital raised in London during the first half of 2021. Many of these companies have been founder-led, such as In The Style and musicMagpie.

Wise, the money transfer firm, joined them last week and was largest ever direct listing of a tech company on London Stock Exchange. This is another great example of how London supports founder-led businesses.

The UK’s vibrant public markets are a powerful engine fuelling economic growth. They are vital in providing innovative financing solutions and a range of routes to market for growing businesses from around Britain and beyond. And it’s not just companies issuing equity that benefit from our public markets. Through bonds, companies and sovereigns are able to raise debt capital to finance their growth ambitions and carbon reduction commitments. In 2021 so far, more than 400 bond issuances have raised over $262bn, in London.

That includes 50 bonds on London Stock Exchange’s Sustainable Bond Market raising over £16bn that support the vital transition to a low carbon economy.

While all these figures are great news for the UK’s capital markets, what’s really important is how the capital raised enables companies to grow. Whether it’s funding scientific research by healthcare and medtech companies, enabling innovative founder-led businesses to grow internationally or greening the global economy, providing access to capital is vital to job creation and economic prosperity.

The first half of 2021 has been a really exciting time for London Stock Exchange and the companies and nations that list and raise finance on our markets.

We look forward to the second half of 2021, welcoming more companies to market, and ensuring that London’s markets continue to be a home for entrepreneurship.