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London Exchange Reports Highest IPO Numbers In Years

The London Stock Exchange reported a “strong start” to 2021, with more than £27bn of equity raised, the highest H1 since 2014. In addition, 49 IPOs raised £9bn, which is the highest number of H1 IPOs since 2017.

“This success illustrates the importance of public market financing to underpin growth, innovation and job creation, along with supporting the transition to a low carbon economy,” Julia Hoggett, the exchange’s CEO, said of Friday’s report.

“The figures illustrate that we continue to offer the most efficient access to global capital for companies from the U.K. and around the world. As issuer and investor needs continue to evolve, we will remain focused on ensuring our markets innovate to meet those requirements.”

According to a media note from the exchange, this period also saw continued growth in tech and consumer internet listings, which accounted for more than half the IPO capital raised in H1.

As PYMNTS reported earlier this year, executives at three of the U.K.’s major trading platforms put out a call in February for companies to open IPOs to retail buyers. They pushed the government to consult on letting these buyers access IPOs, saying the treasury should consider a regulatory obligation to include them.

In terms of fixed income, the exchange saw $262 billion raised by more than 400 bond issuances in the first half of 2021, while 50 bonds on the sustainable bond market (SBM) have raised  £16.1 billion to date, surpassing the total raised last year.

SBMs marked an important milestone in the first half of the year with 300 active bonds and more than $100 billion in total debt capital raised.

The markets also supported a number of founder-led companies, including In The Style, Darktrace, musicMagpie, PensionBee, tinyBuild and Trustpilot, the first unicorn from Denmark to list on the London Exchange.

Friday’s news comes three weeks after another milestone for the markets, which saw 100 tech firms in the U.K. hit a valuation of at least $1 billion, giving them unicorn status. Tractable, an artificial intelligence company, had the honor of being the 100th unicorn.

Last year, only seven companies reached that status in Great Britain, while at least 13 have reached that mark in 2021.

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