2017 was a successful year for UK and international firms looking to raise public capital and access growth finance.
And as we settle in to 2018, we feel similarly optimistic in the UK markets’ long term ability to support UK and international businesses access funding, allowing them to grow, create jobs and drive economic prosperity for us all.
Despite macro economic uncertainty, 107 companies floated on London Stock Exchange in 2017, raising £15bn. A strong rally in the fourth quarter ensured that the number and value of IPOs more than doubled compared to 2016: up 63 per cent by number of IPOs and up 164 per cent by value of IPOs.
UK Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) activity surpassed all European exchanges by both number of IPOs and money raised. This is testament to the international confidence in our economy and reinforces the UK’s status as one of the most international financial centres.
London Stock Exchange is a global market place and the international listing destination of choice for equities, fixed income and funds; whether to raise capital or to enable investors worldwide more efficient access to trade these securities.
Significantly, IPOs have become more international in 2017, with nine out of the top ten IPOs by size coming from outside of the UK. In fact, 20 North American companies chose London for their listing, highlighting the ability for companies to raise global capital in London.
Meanwhile, London Stock Exchange’s global market for high-growth companies, AIM, also ended the year on a high. 49 new companies floated on AIM raising £2.1bn, an astonishing 97 per cent increase by money raised compared to 2016.
AIM has become a fundamental pillar of the UK’s and international financial ecosystem. Over £100bn has been raised in IPO and follow-on capital by companies on the market globally.
AIM boasts companies from more than 90 countries and 40 different sectors. And a number of Yorkshire-based companies have chosen to float on AIM to fund their growth. In December 2017, Sheffield-headquartered games developer, Sumo Digital, raised £145m on AIM.
The most recent data shows that UK incorporated AIM companies alone provide a direct £15bn annual contribution to GDP and are responsible for over 430,000 jobs.
London Stock Exchange continues to focus on investing for growth and work on delivering innovation. For example, Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) surged in 2017. The number of London listed REITs and funds surpassed activity across all global exchanges and raised triple the value of money raised compared to 2016.
This innovative structure also provides a positive contribution to the real economy. What’s more, three of the top five UK IPOs fell into the REITs category in 2017.
So what do we expect for 2018? We continue building on 2017 global success and we remain firmly committed to promoting a financial ecosystem that helps businesses raise capital and growth worldwide.
The UK IPO pipeline looks healthy and we expect to see UK and international companies continuing to turn to our markets to fund their expansion.
The UK financial ecosystem continues to thrive, open and ready for business. Its unique qualities: a globally trusted regulatory and legal framework, the most internationally diverse, deep and liquid pool of capital, and a proven ability to constantly be at the forefront of financial innovation make London and the UK the ideal home for companies and investors.