Covid and Brexit jitters fail to derail UK stock market as listing activity leaps

Stock market activity remains buoyant despite Covid and Brexit jitters with the number of initial public offerings (IPOs) in the UK jumping by 310 per cent in a year.

There were 113 companies listing in London in 2020/21 compared to just 36 in the previous 12 months, research from Bowmore Asset Management shows. Picture: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images
There were 113 companies listing in London in 2020/21 compared to just 36 in the previous 12 months, research from Bowmore Asset Management shows. Picture: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

There were 113 companies listing in London in 2020/21 compared to just 36 in the previous 12 months, research from Bowmore Asset Management shows.

The market value of the companies listing has also soared, rising over 300 per cent from a collective £16.5 billion to £50.9bn in the latest period.

Despite claims that the UK stock market is still reliant on “old economy” stocks such as banks, miners and oil companies, a host of big-name tech companies have chosen London for their market debuts in the past year.

These include recent major IPOs, such as the £8bn listing of fintech firm Wise and £1.7bn float of cybersecurity company Darktrace. Other high-profile tech companies which have chosen the UK include Trustpilot and Alphawave.

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Charles Incledon, client director at Bowmore Asset Management, said: “The uncertainty caused by the pandemic led to a drought for the IPO market during 2020. However, London’s IPO market has genuinely boomed over the past 12 months.

“For stock market investors it’s great to see that so many major businesses still see public markets as the best platform to realise their full growth potential. This is great news for private investors, as last year there was increasing speculation that private equity, reserved for institutional investors, was becoming the default for further investment, in turn denying retail investors the opportunities to invest in new growth companies.”

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