Could the boom times be back? Between 250 and 300 initial public offerings (IPOs) will launch in the first three months of 2014 according to professional services firm EY — a level not seen since the financial crisis hit in 2008.
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EY forecast that 2014 will be a "record year," with improving economic fundamentals and strong global liquidity fueling new listings.
"The pace will be set in the first quarter — we anticipate that total proceeds for first quarter 2014 could be in the range of $35-$45 billion, on a global volume of 250-300 deals. The forecast would re-set IPO activity on par with 2005-08 first-quarter levels," said Maria Pinelli, EY's vice-chair of strategic growth markets.
Pinelli and her colleagues are the latest in a string of economists, bankers and strategists to turn bullish on the IPO market, which started to reignite in the latter half of 2012.
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"I think our pipeline for next year is growing very strongly," Gareth McCartney, UBS's head of equity syndicate for EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa), told CNBC.
"I think reference multiples in the secondary market are encouraging for vendors in terms of valuations. Plus, I think from the investor base, they have had good performance out of a number of deals this year, therefore their appetite is strong. So that is all building for quite a strong 2014, and particularly the first half of 2014, we see as being very strong," he explained.