European initial public offerings remained sparse in the second quarter, with most companies likely to defer going public until mid-2010, an expert on new listings from PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) said.
Whoever isn't forced through necessity by the funds an IPO makes available is waiting, PwC IPO expert Volker Fitzner told Reuters late on Monday.
Investors would rather subscribe to capital increases from companies which are already listed and either avoid public listings altogether or demand such high discounts that issuers cannot except them, Fitzner said.
He said that most of the companies that are planning IPOs would not launch them until the second quarter of 2010.
The uncertainty in the market will not disappear quickly, Fitzner said.
NO IPO BREAKTHROUGH YET
Over the second quarter in Germany there were two IPOs on Deutsche Boerse's Frankfurt exchange: the Californian biotech company Hepahope and online broker Flatex.
The German stock market entrants can't be considered breaking the ice, both had emission volumes that were just too small, Fitzner said.
He said that total volume needed to be in the hundreds of millions of euros to make an impact. The combined size of both IPOs was less than 10 million euros ($13.96 million).
Other European stock markets are not faring any better, according to a study published by PwC.
The total offering value of IPOs on the European markets in the second quarter of 2009 was 456 million euros, a huge reduction compared with the 9,171 million euros raised in the second quarter of 2008.
The fall in total offering value is a combination of the reduction in the number of IPOs and the absence of any large transactions as compared to the second quarter 2008, the study said.
On a quarterly basis, the number of new European listings increased to 28 in the second-quarter 2009 from 18 in the first quarter, but PwC said this increase was largely due to a consistent historical trend of higher IPO activity in the second quarter, prior to the summer break.
The London Stock Exchange saw the greatest IPO activity by volume, where 258 million euros were raised in the second quarter.
The Warsaw Stock Exchange was again the largest market in terms of IPO participants, with seven IPOs raising 126 million euros. It was also the second largest by total volume.
The Scandinavian Nasdaq OMX (NDAQ.O) was the third most active exchange for new listings, seeing 28 million euros raised through IPOs. Germany's Deutsche Boerse was sixth. ($1=.7163 Euro) (Additional reporting by Kerstin Leitel; editing by Simon Jessop)