The number of new companies floating on the world's stock markets hit a seven-year low in the first three months of 2016, as a raft of economic and political concerns weighed on the IPO market, new data shows.
Only 167 initial public offerings (IPOs) were completed during the first three months of 2016, raising $12.1 billion, according to EY's latest IPO trends report. When compared to the same period in 2015, total capital fell by 70 percent, while volume slipped 39 percent.
"The global IPO activity (has) slowed significantly," Martin Steinbach, executive director at EY, told CNBC Tuesday, adding that this was evident "across all regions" worldwide.
As of late, the world has been experiencing a "cocktail of volatility factors" said Steinbach, such as low oil prices and fears of a global economic slowdown, however he remained optimistic that activity would pick up as volatility starts to show signs of "trending down."
As a result, companies are adopting a "wait-and-see" approach as to whether a stock market flotation is the best option. The report suggests issuers may choose to look at alternative prospects, such as mergers and takeovers, that are less susceptible to volatile market conditions.