IPO Watch EMEA Q1 2024


Quarterly report tracking the volume and value of IPOs on EMEA main stock exchanges.

“Recent European IPO activity and largely positive aftermarket performance suggest we are entering a recovery phase of the IPO market. Diversified pipeline, strong market performance and low volatility continue to support a second half weighted IPO window with quality and valuation driving the investment decision.”

Kat Kravtsov
Director, UK Capital Markets

Key themes

Q1 2024 saw the highest IPO proceeds raised in Europe since Q1 2021. Aftermarket performance of the European IPOs in this quarter has also been mostly positive with 4 out of 5 top IPOs ending Q1 in positive territory. It was also a strong start to the year for the European indices with the Stoxx 600 reaching an all-time high in March. Improving macroeconomic environment, strong equities market together with lower volatility, all point to supportive conditions for a sustained recovery of the IPO market in 2024 and beyond.

The 11 "GRANOLAS" stocks have gained prominence this quarter due to their strong market performance, rising 10% in Q1 vs the Stoxx 600 that gained 7%, drawing comparison with the "Magnificent 7" in the US. However, this group reflects a much broader segment of the European market, spanning across healthcare, consumer, technology and luxury sectors as compared to the tech-heavy "Magnificent 7". These stocks represent about a quarter of the European index market cap.

Three of the top 5 IPOs in Q1 2024 were private equity ("PE") backed, including the largest IPO on the SIX Swiss Exchange since 2017 and the largest IPO on the Deutsche Börse since 2022. Global PE assets under management are currently at a record value of over $5tn, highlighting a significant backlog of unrealised value, whilst stabilisation of the IPO market provides a window of opportunity for further PE-backed IPOs.

Regulatory changes in the London market, aimed at increasing the attractiveness of listing in London, are due to come into effect this year and add to the earlier Edinburgh and Mansion House reforms. These regulatory changes, the improving macroeconomic outlook and significant IPO pipeline point to potentially a pivotal year for the UK capital markets. Q1 2024 saw notable follow-on equity transactions on the London Stock Exchange.

There has been a noticeable shift in the Middle East capital markets away from oil and gas to other industries, reflecting a maturing market that may have a broader appeal to international investors in the future. Although the JSE index is down 3% in Q1 2024, reflecting concerns over the health of the South African economy, there are reasons to be optimistic about the medium-term outlook as the energy crisis is starting to improve with electricity supply bolstered by incoming renewables capacity and the transportation industry looking healthier. The outcome of the general election may provide further stability.

Equity markets and macroeconomic overview

Broadly positive global equity indices performance, supported by improving macroeconomic conditions such as decreasing inflation and potential interest rate cuts, combined with lower volatility and strong pipeline, all resulting in a continued optimism for a sustained recovery of the IPO market in the remainder of 2024 and beyond.

Historical performance of major equity indices in Q1 2024

Equity markets and macroeconomic overview

Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence LLC 31 March 2024

The current market conditions are positive for investors as equity indices continue to rise and volatility is low, suggesting a more stable market environment, which supports IPO activity. Most of the major equity indices in the EMEA region have increased by c. 3-10% in the last quarter, while the JSE decreased by 3% over the same period. The S&P 500 recorded a strong gain of 10% over Q1 2024, reflecting outperformance of some technology stocks.

The key driver of positive market performance is the expectation that most of the major Western economies are on track to see inflation decrease from the highs seen in 2022 and 2023 to 2%, leading to potential interest rate cuts. GDP growth across EMEA regions is also set to improve in 2024 compared to 2023 with Europe, UK and GCC forecasted to grow at 1.5%, 0.6% and 3.7% respectively according to IMF data and PwC analysis. Africa is also expected to be the second fastest growing region globally, after Asia, in 2024, largely supported by the growing services sector.

EMEA IPO trends and outlook

EMEA IPO markets have seen a promising start to the year, driven by strong European issuance and several transactions in the Middle East, further supporting the optimism that the markets will continue to recover in the latter half of 2024. Positive aftermarket performance among the largest IPOs in the region, coupled with the more positive macroeconomic outlook, provide a window of opportunity for issuers to access the IPO market.

Whilst Q1 2024 IPO proceeds of $1.4bn raised in the Middle East are lower compared with the first quarter proceeds raised in 2023 of $4.1bn, the pipeline for the remainder of 2024 remains strong across the region driven by the continued privatisation drive and growing number of privately owned companies looking to IPO.

The Consumer Staples sector raised the highest proceeds in Q1 2024 at $2.7bn of the total $6.7bn EMEA IPO proceeds raised.

EMEA IPO activity (Q1 2020 to Q1 2024)

EMEA IPO trends and outlook

Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence LLC

Contact us

Vhernie Manickavasagar

Vhernie Manickavasagar

Partner, Capital Markets, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7595 849896

Kat Kravtsov

Kat Kravtsov

Director, UK Capital Markets, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7710 036613

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