The first half of 2020 was sluggish, reflecting a turbulent start to the year with Brexit uncertainty and then Covid. But by September IPO activity had picked up. Q4 saw a significant increase, the markets having managed to recover from the effects of the first Covid peak in the spring.
In Q4 there were 17 IPOs on the Main Market raising £3.4 billion (including a single issuance under the London Shanghai Stock Connect program that raised £155 million). This compared to just three IPOs in Q3 that did, however, manage to raise £3.3 billion.
On AIM there was a big increase from Q3 to Q4, with 10 IPOs raising £192 million in Q4 and just three in Q3 which raised £76 million.
During the whole of 2020, 40 IPOs occurred in the UK, 25 on the Main Market (including three via the London Shanghai Stock Connect program) and 15 on AIM.
These represented a total increase of 11 per cent when compared to listings during 2019. In terms of funds raised, the UK remained third behind the US and Chinese markets. During the year, AQSE saw seven IPOs. Of these IPOs, we were pleased to be involved in four of them.
Technology IPOs accounted for more than 25 per cent of total funds raised in 2020. No doubt Covid had some influence on this. A thriving biotech sector is benefitting from increasing opportunities in healthcare..
It was also encouraging to see new sectors coming onto the LSE in 2020, with PKF acting on the listing of Guild eSports Plc and Helium One Limited. Guild is the first global eSports business to be listed while Helium One represents the first company on AIM carrying out helium specific exploration activities in Tanzania.
The number of IPOs is expected to grow in 2021 and we look for-ward to continuing to helping our clients achieve their aspirations.