January 3, 2018

Wall Street regains title as king of IPOs

Move over Hong Kong. The New York Stock Exchange raised more money for companies going public than any other market in 2017.

Initial public offerings on Wall Street raised $33.4 billion last year, allowing the NYSE to regain the top spot it last held in 2014, according to data from market intelligence firm Dealogic.

The Hong Kong Stock Exchange had topped the league table in 2015 and 2016, but slipped back to fourth spot last year, trailing Shanghai and the Nasdaq as well as the NYSE.

Companies such as Snapchat parent Snap and Altice were among the big-name firms that listed on the NYSE last year, pushing up the overall value of American IPOs to $49 billion from just $24 billion in 2016.

Snap raised $3.9 billion alone, making it the largest tech IPO in the U.S. since Alibaba's listing in 2014.

Snap crackled and popped immediately after its IPO in March, rising by as much as 73% in the early days of trading. But it has since plunged below its IPO price of $17 per share.

Looking ahead, the appetite for new IPOs will depend on whether stock markets can maintain their impressive momentum. CEOs prefer to list their firms when markets are rising as opposed to falling.

There are already two big deals on the horizon: Oil giant Saudi Aramco and Uber are testing the waters.

Saudi Arabia's state-owned oil company is the biggest in the world and officials have said they expect an IPO to value the firm at around $2 trillion. (That would give Aramco a value five times that of Exxon Mobil.)

CEO Amin Nasser told CNNMoney last year that the IPO was on track for 2018, but the kingdom has yet to decide where to list the company.

"We looked at the different venues, which are New York, London, Hong Kong, Tokyo," he said.

President Trump has campaigned for Aramco to list on the New York Stock Exchange, tweeting that it would be "important to the United States!"

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has confirmed that the company's "target" is to go public in 2019. His predecessor, Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick, had tried to put off an IPO for as long as possible.

"Travis and the whole board now agree that we should just go public," he said in November.

Japan's SoftBank recently reached a deal to buy a 15% stake in Uber. The bulk of its investment was made at a valuation of $48 billion. SoftBank also agreed to inject capital into Uber at its most recent valuation of $70 billion.

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