China tops global IPO charts, more to come: report

BEIJING Tue Oct 30, 2007 6:21am EDT

1 of 3. Investors check their stocks value at a stock exchange market in Shanghai October 23, 2007.

Credit: Reuters/Nir Elias

BEIJING (Reuters) - Surging Chinese stock markets won the global IPO crown in the third quarter, hosting more share flotations and raising more capital than bourses in any other country, an Ernst & Young report showed on Tuesday.

Other emerging markets, from Brazil to India, also boasted record IPO activity, but flotations slumped in mature markets under the weight of a credit crunch touched off by the meltdown in the U.S. subprime mortgage market.

Companies in mainland China and Hong Kong raised $14.3 billion in the third quarter, more than twice as much as in the same period last year.

Three of the world's top 10 initial public offerings, including the Shanghai listing of Bank of Beijing (601169.SS), were in China last quarter.

The fourth quarter has been the strongest for Chinese IPOs in recent years, a trend that Ernst & Young expects to continue.

"Provided investor confidence remains positive, there is every reason to believe that funds raised by companies in China and Hong Kong will comfortably exceed $50 billion for 2007," Ernst & Young partner Joe Tsang told reporters.

In 2006 IPOs in Greater China raised $57 billion.

Reflecting the shifting global balance, Brazil took second place with $9.3 billion of capital raised in the third quarter. The United States came third, netting $8.3 billion.

"There is no doubt emerging markets are the engine of the world economy and IPOs are one of the things we see it through," Gil Forer, the firm's global director of IPO initiatives, said.

He said the worldwide IPO pipeline looked healthy, although the impact of the credit squeeze was still hard to gauge.

"Last quarter we know anecdotally that some IPOs were cancelled or pulled back," Forer told Reuters.

As for China's clear dominance, Forer said it was common for 90 percent of a country's companies to float at home, leaving exchanges abroad to fight for the scraps.

"Where the 10 percent are going -- that's the question," he said.

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