London tops IPO rankings

8 January 2007

London has topped a table of European cities with the highest levels of initial public offering (IPOs) during the fourth quarter of 2006.

The Alternative Investment Market in London recorded 60 IPOs during the last quarter of 2006, while the London Stock Exchange witnessed a further 31 stock market floats.

The figures from accountancy group PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) reveal that last year was the strongest for European exchanges since 2001, with 212 new listing on European markets in the final three months of 2006.

London's IPOs for the fourth quarter of last year were worth £6.9 billion (10.3 billion euros), around two billion euros more than the same period of 2005, placing it ahead of rivals in both Europe and the United States.

Head of the London Capital Markets Group at PwC, Tom Troubridge, said: "Europe had a record year with 651 IPOs raising 66 billion euros. This compared with the US markets, which saw only 224 IPOs raising 36.7 billion euros, whereas Greater China experienced 137 IPOs, which raised 47.4 billion euros."

Mr Troubridge noted that international companies are increasingly choosing to invest in London rather than New York, with the LSE attracting 12 overseas firms in the last three months of 2006 – four from Russia, two South Korean businesses, two firms from Kazakhstan and one each from Georgia, Australia, Bahrain and Pakistan.

The board of the LSE is currently opposing a hostile £2.7 billion takeover bid from the New York-based Nasdaq exchange and analysts have suggested that the PwC IPO Watch Europe survey could help to strengthen its case.

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