Wall Street rally sets the stage for big IPO year in 2018

Trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

A relentless bull-run in U.S. stock indexes this year has set the stage for a strong IPO market in 2018, with several multi-billion dollar firms including Airbnb and Spotify widely expected to grab headlines with their offerings.

The S&P 500, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq are all set to cap the year with their biggest annual gains since 2013.

Riding the rally, the U.S. IPO market also recovered in the second half of 2017, after being spooked by a slump in shares of Snapchat owner Snap Inc and meal-kit delivery company Blue Apron  following their debut earlier in the year.

“With the market at all-time highs valuations are at the high-end, presenting a favorable backdrop for IPOs,” said Nelson Griggs, president, Nasdaq Stock Exchange.

“Interest rates are still around historical lows so there is likely a sense of urgency for companies to take advantage of the window.”

While several “unicorns”, or companies valued at more than $1 billion, are likely to list in 2018, it will be the small- and mid-sized firms and listings by foreign companies that will fuel the market, experts say.

According to consultancy firm CB Insights, 14 unicorns went public globally this year, compared with eight in 2016 and 10 in 2015. Most of them made their debut in the United States.

Apart from Airbnb and Spotify, file-sharing service Dropbox and ride-hailing company Lyft are among the notable companies expected to go public in 2018.

The chances of a 2018 listing by Uber Technologies remains slim, given the corporate governance challenge it continues to face. An IPO by the ride hailing company, valued at more than $60 billion, has been eagerly awaited by investors for years.

“We’ll continue to see unicorns trickle out (in 2018), not a unicorn boom year, but a steady stream,” Ernst & Young Americas IPO Markets Leader Jackie Kelley said.

This year is set to end with 159 companies going public and raising about $38 billion. This compares with 277 companies and about $93 billion raised in 2014, the best year since the financial crisis of 2008-2009, according to Reuters data.

United States will continue to be an attractive destination for foreign companies looking to tap the public markets next year. About a quarter of listings on U.S. exchanges in 2017 were by overseas firms, led by China.

“There is a strong foundation going into the next year and significant amount of interest. The pipeline is pretty robust,” Kelley said.

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Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.