Carolyn Saacke, Managing Director, Capital Markets for NYSE Euronext, spoke at our NFA meeting yesterday in the Raleigh, NC. The group enjoyed hearing her remarks and views on IPO activity and what’s been happening in the market. One of the notable items for me was the performance of the IPO market last year. In reading the press and listening to the media, I thought the IPO market was closed and was miserable; not so. There were nearly twice as many IPOs in 2009 as 2008. There were 59 IPOs last year which is about half the annual average since 1990 (excluding 1999 & 2000 each with about 330). The main reason for the improvement was discounted pricing below target of some very good companies. She says the indicators are good for this year, but still not as robust as they expected entering 2010.
I didn’t realize the breadth of global capital markets access through their exchange. With the consolidation in the exchange market and the acquisition of a number of platforms in Europe, the NYSE Euronext provides access to capital in the US, Europe and the Middle-East. Not just for the S&P 500 , but also for emerging growth and middle-market companies seeking capital of at least $40 million; the minimum market cap is now $150 million. This puts the NYSE directly competitive with NASDAQ in most capitalization segments …providing liquidity and greater global reach.
It is encouraging and exciting to see the markets rebounding; especially for mid-sized businesses.