THE WORLD’S TOP SPOTS for the ultimate capitalist act, which is the launching of major companies on the global share markets, are all in China, a new study shows. Shanghai’s Star Market is in first place, followed by Shenzhen’s ChiNext, and then comes the traditional world leader in IPOs, Hong Kong. The data comes from a new index for IPOs in 2022 compiled by Refinitiv, a financial data company.
Rival centers such as New York and Singapore have dropped out of contention.
It’s been a terrible time in general for IPOs, with the proceeds of such deals falling by 94% in 2022 compared to a year earlier, according to a new report from Ernst & Young.
The shake-up has caused huge changes in the industry. For seven out of the past 13 years, the southern Chinese city of Hong Kong was in the number one top spot in the world, beating out New York and London, the traditional kings of this area of finance. Everything has changed in the past three years.
The latest stock market data shows that the biggest fundraiser of 2022 was Star Market in Shanghai, with 2022 figures showing that 118 firms called on the market for US$29.63 billion.
In second place, 144 companies raised US$24.71 billion at ChiNext in Shenzhen.
Third was Hong Kong, where 75 firms were listed to raise US$12.69 billion.
Rival financial centers are still languishing. New York is in the doldrums. The New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq both fell out of the top ten.
Singapore hosted no IPOs on its main board in 2022, but a subsidiary board called Catalist did raise a small amount of funds, placing it at 66 on the Refinitiv list.
Many investment bankers canvassed by the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong were bullish about the city, particularly for the second half of 2023. New rules in Hong Kong mean that tech companies can still list even before they have made any revenue, and yuan-denominated stock trading will be offered, too.
But the developments have also led to interesting discussions in the financial community. When a country people label “communist” does a key element of capitalism better than western financial centers, it becomes impossible to avoid the fact that labels are meaningless and only the numbers lead to clarity.
Many global firms in 2023 are expected to take listings or secondary listings in Hong Kong.
Image at the top by Denys Nevozhai / Unsplash