FT: Bankers happy to see the back of dry January

Fundraisings fade due to Brexit, the US shutdown and wobbles in global markets

For many parts of the financial markets it was a dry January.

Brexit worries, the US government shutdown and some alarming wobbles in global markets all wiped out the usual new-year rush of fresh equity and bond deals. In the UK, the month drew the smallest number of new bond deals since 1995.

Bankers tasked with drumming up new business insist, or hope, that this is a blip. Still, the slow spell is likely to leave a mark on revenues for the quarter.

After producing 18 new listings on the stock markets in January 2018, the US generated just one in the same month this year. Europe also produced one, while there were none from the UK, according to data from Refinitiv.

In large part, the lag was down to the longest US government shutdown in history, which ended late in the month after 35 days. While government workers were furloughed, it was impossible for companies to have their listing documents reviewed and approved. Loopholes were available, but few companies wanted to run the risk of inadvertently falling foul of rules and facing legal action after listing.

“Everyone is sitting on a good pipeline of deals,” said Adrian Lewis, head of equity capital markets for Europe at HSBC in London. “But this is probably the biggest lag we have ever had at this time of year.”

Source: Financial Times

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