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Global IPOs off to slow start in 2015: EY

NEW listings around the world raised 19 per cent less money in the first quarter of 2015 compared to a year earlier as the United States ran into a dry spell, according to a report by accounting firm EY.

But the firm expects initial public offering (IPO) activity to pick up as the year progresses, with the pipeline still healthy and growing.

Global IPO proceeds fell to US$38.2 billion in the first three months of the year, even though the number of deals eased by a more modest 4 per cent to 252 offerings over the same period.

The amount of capital raised in the US fell 53 per cent to US$5.6 billion, although EY said the slowdown was due to deals being accelerated in the fourth quarter of 2014.

"The slower activity this quarter can be explained by the pause in the equities market in October 2014 and because many private companies wanted to take advantage of favourable market conditions by the end of the year and rushed to complete their IPOs in 2014 that were originally slated for this quarter," EY stated, referring to the first quarter of 2015.

"The pipeline ran dry in the beginning of 2015, but it is replenishing with candidates from across all sectors."

In the Asia-Pacific, deal proceeds rose 18 per cent to US$15.8 billion, led by a robust China. In South-east Asia, however, the scene was more subdued. Singapore, notably, had no IPOs at all during the quarter.

Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa also made a positive contribution during the quarter, with a 20 per cent increase in main-market listings, to US$16.5 billion. Sponsor-led offerings were a key factor.