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Global growth in listings and overall market capitalization was strong in the first half of 2017, according to a new report from the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE).

The WFE reports that its membership of more than 200 exchanges and central counterparties (CCPs) saw the number of new listings grow by 44.1% compared with the same period in 2016. At the same time, total market capitalization rose by 16.3% to a record level of US$78.2 trillion.

In the Americas, the total market cap grew by 14.1% in the first half of 2017 to a record high of US$33.2 trillion while the Asia-Pacific rose by 18.1% and Europe, the Middle East and Africa regions increased by 17.7%.

The total number of new listings also enjoyed strong gains in the first half of this year, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, which accounted for 73% of new listings. The WFE report says that more than half of these were on mainland Chinese exchanges, as regulators accelerated the initial public offering (IPO) approval process.

Despite the growth in listings and market cap, the report also says that global trading activity is down so far this year compared with last year. The total value of share trading is down by 9.1% while the number of trades declined by 12.2% year-over-year. The declines in volume and value traded were evident in all three regions, the report says.

“It’s a mixed picture of market performance,” says Nandini Sukumar, CEO of the WFE, in a statement. “Market capitalization rose, and there was a strong resurgence of IPOs, and investment flows through IPOs. Simultaneously, however, the volume and value of share trading fell, and the decline in non-IPO investment flows was such that total investment flows were actually down on [the first half of] 2016, further demonstrating the unpredictable nature of primary and secondary markets in an uncertain global geopolitical landscape.”

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