More than 1,450 companies globally have gone public so far in 2017, putting this year on track to become the busiest for new listings since 2007, according to Dealogic data through Friday. […]
The slew of Chinese IPOs is partly a result of pent-up demand. After a stock-market crash in 2015, China’s securities regulator temporarily halted new listings. In the middle of last year it started accelerating approvals for companies wishing to go public.
The U.S. has also seen a pickup in listings and has drawn some of the biggest offerings this year from the likes of social-media giant Snap Inc. and cable company Altice USA Inc. Many prominent companies, however, are flush with private capital and under no urgency to go public, which has kept U.S. IPO activity below its recent 2014 high. Nearly 170 private companies globally are valued at $1 billion or more, according to Dow Jones VentureSource. That is up from about 75 in November 2014.
Of particular note—the returns for investors in China’s IPOs—which, to say it mildly, diverge considerably from the experiences of investors in Snap:
Investors are being rewarded for diving into the new listings. Shares of newly public companies in Asia-Pacific, on average, have risen nearly 154% from their IPO prices this year through Friday, according to Dealogic. That compares with an average 32% gain for IPOs in the Americas and a 12% increase for new issues in Europe, the Middle East and Africa this year.
Clearly, the country is well beyond the turbulence seen in the stock markets in 2015 and 2016. (whew!) And it’s worth asking whether the stock connects in Shanghai and Shenzen are helping boost capital inflows into and out of the country. But before everyone starts piling into A shares, as I’ve explained, plenty of work remains, especially in the regulatory oversight of the markets—and the still extraordinary debt load carried by the government and corporates.