London Rivals Closing the Gap in Race for Europe’s Top IPO Spot

For years, London’s position as Europe’s hottest listing venue has seemed unshakable, but rivals Frankfurt and Amsterdam are quickly closing in with a flurry of initial public offerings this fall.

London remains firmly in pole position this year with a haul of $17 billion, well ahead of the roughly $11 billion raised in Frankfurt and Amsterdam, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The two continental venues have grown sharply over the past decade, while the U.K.’s IPO market has spluttered.

London Rivals Closing the Gap in Race for Europe’s Top IPO Spot

“In a busy IPO market as we have had for the past 18 months, it’s quite natural to see venues across Europe win deals,” said Linda Main, head of capital markets advisory at KPMG U.K. “But there is no danger yet of London being unseated from its top position,” she said, adding that listing reforms should help boost the City’s position.

Amsterdam has hosted a string of big IPOs from foreign companies like Polish parcel-locker provider InPost SA and mutual-fund distributor Allfunds Plc, which is headquartered in Madrid. London has also been working hard to lure more businesses to its stock exchange, including changes to its listing rules to ease the path to market. 

The moves are paying off, with DNA-sequencing company Oxford Nanopore Technologies Ltd. on Thursday becoming the latest innovative business to say it’s tapping U.K. investors.

Still, London’s efforts were dealt a blow this week, with U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson set to raise taxes to the highest level on record. The mandate includes an extra 1.25% levy on dividends, which could put investors off British stocks as equity income has been one of the market’s main attractions.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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