Companies are no doubt scared about floating on the UK market until there is clarity over Brexit
Thursday 11 Apr 2019 Author: Ian Conway

The value of initial public offerings (IPOs) on the UK stock market fell to an eight-year low last quarter, according to consultants PwC, suggesting lean times for London’s broking community.

The quantity of stock market flotations has also been low. Between January and March this year just five companies came to the market, raising £500m, compared with 16 companies and proceeds of £1.2bn in the first quarter of 2018.

While you could blame the drop on the uncertainty caused by Brexit, the picture is no better on the continent. Total IPO activity in Europe last quarter was just €700m compared with €13.1bn in the same quarter last year.

Admittedly 2018’s first quarter benefited from two large floats worth a combined €5bn – DWS Group which is part of Deutsche Bank and Healthineers which is part of Siemens – but that still leaves European IPO proceeds down more than 90%.

On a positive note, London remains the venue of choice with 11 listings scheduled for later this year or in 2020 including café group Loungers as the Shares website shows. That will be of little comfort for broking firms which have struggled with low trading activity so far this year as international investors continue to pull money out of the UK stock market.

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