Many international multinationals have canceled or postponed their 2022 IPO due to the war, such as Bol.com, Coolblue or WeTransfer. Market volatility has also greatly concerned investors. All of these companies now have more time to prepare for their IPO once the markets recover.
In 2022, only 174 companies have so far opted for US listing, and 66 of them did so in the first two months of the year, before the conflict in Ukraine. The US is by far the most popular market in the world for an IPO and therefore paints a good picture of the state of IPOs.
Conversely, 2021 was a banner year with over 1,000 IPOs in the US. A result well above the average, which is 260 IPOs per year since 2000. Also a record at the Nasdaq in Copenhagen in 2021, with 19 IPOs, against… zero in 2022. 2021 is also a year of great launches in the sector of electric cars, including the biggest IPO of the year, by US electric car maker Rivian, which raised just under $12 billion. At the same time, SPACs have been very popular. We remember in particular the electric car manufacturer Lucid Motors which took advantage of this enthusiasm to list the sector. Despite this, not much should be expected from SPACs in 2023. The US stock authorities have tightened the rules in this area, which means that the volume of 2021 listings will not be expected in 2023.
China, a record IPO model
Despite the global trend, China is an exception and does not shy away from an IPO in times of crisis. In the first half of 2022 alone, 178 IPOs were registered in the Middle Kingdom, more than in the United States so far, for a total result of just under $40 billion. This phenomenon is partly explained by a looser monetary policy of the Chinese central bank (PBC). Furthermore, the Chinese government is fully committed to stimulating the economy with initiatives to boost the development of China’s chaotic economy. State-owned banks were able to benefit from support in the form of a loan of 300 billion yuan (about 40 billion euros) and infrastructure received 500 billion yuan (about 67 billion euros).
The Chinese authorities will significantly ease restrictions on lending in the real estate sector, thus allowing for a temporary end to China’s deep real estate crisis. The government has also shortened the quarantine period for the coronavirus. If restrictions are eased further, this could benefit the global economy and lead to strong investor interest in IPOs.
When is a good time for the stock market?
A large number of hopeful Western companies are eager to go public once the turmoil in the markets has subsided and investors are once again a little more willing to take risks. In China, 2023 is expected to be a much brighter year and October inflation data from the US showed a much bigger decline than expected, which bodes well.
Inflation would need to slow sharply to get central banks to stop raising interest rates, so they can gradually consider lowering them again. High interest rates have a major impact on the valuation of growth companies, as investors generally avoid risky growth stocks and opt for more stable investments in order to reduce risk and volatility in their portfolio.
If central banks ease monetary policy and reduce long-term bond yields. This phenomenon could reduce market volatility and allow investors to take on more risk, which would restore market interest in IPOs. As a result, the market could regain interest in IPOs and there is a good chance this will happen in 2023.
To understand the evolution of many companies, it is important to follow the volatility index (VIX), which must be below 20 for the IPO window to remain open. When the level is above 20, companies have historically struggled to be valued correctly due to excessive fluctuations in the stock market. However, it will take at least the first quarter of 2023 for IPOs to resume, and probably well into the second half as well.