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The 2023 IPO market stalls

The market for initial public offerings (IPOs) has ground to a halt in 2023. There were just 14 new listings in the first six months of the year. According to our latest research, the first half of 2023 has been one of Australia’s quietest periods for IPOs since the late-2000s – lower even than during the global financial crisis or the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The lack of activity reflects the persistently difficult environment for IPOs that emerged towards the end of 2022, when there was a noticeable slowdown in IPO activity in the second half of the year.

Report summary

  • 14 new listings on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in the first six months of 2023
  • IPOs raised $150 million compared to $790 million in the first six months of 2022 and $2.9 billion in 2021
  • Total amounts raised were impacted by the lack of *large caps listing in 2023
  • New listings in the Materials sector dominated the market, representing 12 out of 14 new entrants
  • 50% of new listings came from Western Australia.

The 2023 IPO Watch Mid-Year Report includes commentary and data analysis on share price performance, sector analysis, IPO subscription rates, a review of activity for the first two quarters of the year, and the market outlook for the remainder of the year. 

* Large cap companies are defined as those with a market capitalisation in excess of $100 million. Small cap, companies are defined as those with a market capitalisation of $100 million or less. All data excludes property trusts. 

IPO Watch Australia Mid-Year Report

A snapshot of Australia's recent listing activity

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The road ahead

As of 30 June 2023, there was a total of 11 potential upcoming floats on the ASX, seeking to raise $693 million. The resources sector continues to be a strong contributor with seven of the potential listings being Materials companies. Historically, Materials listings have dominated the small cap listings, and it is likely that this trend will continue over the next six months given current market conditions.

Underlying factors impacting the IPO market include a significant degree of uncertainty across global markets, weaker indicators, and a slowdown in the world economy due to tighter monetary conditions. The outlook for the remainder of 2023 is expected to be challenging with tight capital markets.

The average funds sought across all potential new listings is $63 million. This figure represents the two large cap listings as well as the remaining nine potential entrants which are seeking significantly smaller amounts.

"Overall, we expect the remainder of 2023 to be challenging for the IPO market, with tight capital markets. The degree of uncertainty across global markets, weaker indicators, and a slowdown in the world economy, are all impacting the IPO market. That said, we expect a level of improvement in the second half of the year and into 2024."
Marcus Ohm
Corporate & Audit Services Partner

Key findings

IPOs reduced to a trickle

  • 6 of the 14 listings were in the month of January
  • In Q2, there were only 5 new listings
  • Lack of listings resulted in a decline in funds raised
  • The wider ASX All Ordinaries started the year at 7,222 and finished the period at 7,402, a marginal increase of 2%.

Fewer sectors represented

  • Only 3 industries recorded new market entrants
  • 12 of the 14 listings were in the Materials sector
  • The 2 remaining listings were from the Software & Services and Energy sectors
  • 7 of the 14 listings were from Western Australia

Positive results despite market conditions

  • Subscription rates were higher compared to the same time last year
  • Only 1 of the 14 listings failed to reach its target
  • 2 of the 14 listings were underwritten, continuing the trends observed in 2022

Difficult conditions ahead

  • 7 of the 14 companies achieved a first day gain
  • Average first day gain was 3% compared to a gain of 18% in the first half of 2022
  • As of 30 June 2023, the average performance by period end against listing price across all new listings was a flat 0%
  • Current market conditions has made it challenging for new entrants to post strong performance post-listing

About IPO Watch Australia

First published in 2004, IPO Watch Australia is a benchmarking-based report. The research analyses Australian listing activity. The primary report is released in January, and it explores IPO activity over the previous 12-month period. The Mid-Year Report is a short-form report published in July. It focuses on market activity for the first six months of the year. The reports are authored by corporate & audit services partner, Marcus Ohm.

About HLB Mann Judd
We are an association of award-winning accounting and advisory firms in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. Our firms currently audit over 6% of all ASX-listed companies and 10% of all ASX-listed resources companies in Australia. In addition to audit-related services, HLB Mann Judd provides a broad range of advisory and tax services. We can assist with the preparation for an IPO and in evaluating the benefits and feasibility of an IPO against alternative strategic options.


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