| HONG KONG
HONG KONG Nasdaq OMX Group (NDAQ.O) expects between 15 and 20 more U.S. initial public offerings (IPOs) this year despite volatility in global markets that has dampened deal volume in recent months, a top executive at the company told Reuters on Wednesday.
The company had initially expected 100-120 IPOs in 2011, but the final tally could be about 80 percent of this as companies delay listing due to a global markets slump, said Bruce Aust, Nasdaq's executive vice-president, corporate client group.
"We've still got a very strong pipeline of companies," said Aust, who is in charge of Nasdaq's global listing business. "We anticipate that anywhere between 15 and 20 companies could price before the end of the year."
Global IPO volume is down 7 percent since the start of the year as investors remain wary of equity markets due to lingering concern over Europe's debt troubles and an ailing U.S. economy.
Companies from fast-growing Asian markets to Europe and the U.S. have put fundraising plans on hold, but issuance could pick up in 2012 as investors venture back into equity markets.
"I don't think anybody anticipated the volatility in markets, (or) obviously what's going on in Europe," Aust said in an interview.
"It's all subject to market conditions and volatility. But I would say that with 105 companies actively filed and registered to go public, we feel encouraged that if markets return to some sense of normalcy in 2012 we'll see a very, very robust IPO market."
Chinese companies could account for three or four of the remaining IPOs in the U.S. this year Aust said.
Companies from China make up the bulk of foreign issuers in the Nasdaq, followed by those from Israel, but more listings from Russia and India are expected, he added.
Demand for Chinese IPOs should continue, despite accounting and corporate governance issues that affected stocks such as NetQin Mobile Inc (NQ.N), Trunkbow International Holdings Ltd TBOW.O and E-Commerce China Dangdang DANG.N.
"Any time there is some uncertainty, or investors feel there is some unease or lack of transparency around the companies they're investing in, they will at least pause to make sure they know where they're investing," Aust said.
"There's definitely an appetite from U.S. markets for Chinese investments.
"When you look at the growth potential for China over the next 10 years, it's tremendous. So when you have companies that are doing the majority of their business in China, you can understand that growth is going to come from those companies."
(Reporting by Elzio Barreto; Editing by Will Waterman and David Hulmes)