| TEL AVIV
TEL AVIV Oct 16 Nasdaq OMX will have
its strongest year for IPOs since 2007 with a total of 120
companies listing in 2013 thanks to economic recovery in the
United States and rising interest rates, a senior official said
Bruce Aust, executive vice president at Nasdaq OMX, said
investors were looking beyond bonds and corporate debt for
"As rates go up, people are looking for alternative classes
to invest in and that bodes well for equity markets," he told
Reuters during a trip to Israel.
"We saw a lot around the financial crisis where companies
didn't think they would get the valuations they wanted to in an
IPO so they took the M&A route.
"That has changed in the U.S. This year is the strongest IPO
market since 2007," Aust said.
The Nasdaq said in September that 166 companies had gone
public on U.S. markets in the first nine months of 2013,
compared with 109 for the same period in 2012.
Of the 96 public offerings on Nasdaq so far in 2013, 40 have
been in healthcare.
Aust said large private equity-backed companies were also
looking to carry out IPOs, citing the announcement by
Blackstone-owned hotel operator Hilton Worldwide that it planned
a $1.25 billion listing.
On Tuesday, online messaging service Twitter
chose the rival New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) for its upcoming
listing, dealing a blow to the tech-heavy Nasdaq, which bungled
Facebook Inc's 2012 offering.
"We think the natural home for them is Nasdaq and we are
disappointed but we wish them well in their IPO," Aust said.
But he said Marriott International was moving to Nasdaq from
NYSE this month and a total of $500 billion in market value has
shifted to Nasdaq from NYSE in the past five years.
"We feel we are definitely getting some of the large global
brands switching to Nasdaq," said Aust, citing Kraft Foods
He said that as many as 10 Israeli companies are expected to
list on Nasdaq in the next 18 months.
There are 70 Israeli or Israel-related companies listed on
the Nasdaq, the most for one country after the United States and
China, which has 90.
The most imminent Israeli listing will be do-it-yourself
Internet site builder Wix, which expects to raise up to $100
million. "We will see a couple more before the end of this
year," Aust said.