Q1 2020 can be viewed as a quarter of two halves. The momentum seen in Q4 2019 carried on into January and February following the UK election results and a clearer path forward on Brexit and some easing of global trade tensions, with IPO and FO activity levels particularly strong in the Americas and Asia- Pacific. In March however, the IPO market was all but extinguished outside Asia-Pacific as the impact of COVID-19 was felt.
Even with COVID-19, Q1 2020 IPOs raised $35.7bn from 207 transactions, an increase of $15.7bn (78%) as compared to Q1 2019, albeit Q1 2019 activity levels were adversely impacted by geopolitical uncertainties prevailing during that period. FO activity was marginally down on Q1 2019 (-$4.7bn / -5%); similar to IPO activity there was a significant drop off in March.
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