According to a study, the year 2019 was the weakest year for initial public offerings in Germany since the global financial crisis. Unsettled by Brexit, trade disputes and fears of a recession, only three companies floated in the tightly regulated Prime Standard segment - a low since the financial crisis of 2009. At the same time, the value of newly issued shares has fallen by almost 70 percent to 3.6 billion, shows a study of the Hamburg consulting firm Kirchhoff Consult. In 2018, it had counted 16 IPOs with 11.6 billion euros issue volume.
"The economic uncertainties weighed for many stock market candidates harder than the very good performance in the stock market," said company chief Klaus Rainer Kirchhoff. Thus, the Dax since the beginning of the year about 25 percent plus - actually a very good environment. But sharp price fluctuations, the weak share performance of newcomers such as Uber and the canceled IPO of the office provider WeWork would have alarmed investors.
Deutsche Börse's Prime Standard is the segment with the highest transparency requirements for companies. A recording is required to be listed in stock indices such as Dax or MDax.
Particularly successful this year was the IPO of the Swabian software company Teamviewer, with a volume of nearly two billion euros, the largest tech IPO since the year 2000. In the Prime Standard, the Volkswagen truck subsidiary Traton made a billionaire stock market debut. The trend of the fashion retailer Global Fashion Group was much smaller. There was no IPO in Deutsche Börse's Scale segment for start-ups.
By 2020, more companies will go public
Kirchhoff is more optimistic for the coming year. "The continued loose monetary policy of the central banks and the increasingly positive signals in the trade dispute, however, give us confidence that by 2020 more companies will go public again," he said.
The pipeline of new candidates is also well filled due to shifts. Potential billion-dollar IPOs included the elevator division of ThyssenKrupp and the energy sector of Siemens, which is set to go down in September 2020. "We expect a clear recovery in the market for IPOs and expect at least ten new issues in the Prime Standard," said Kirchhoff CEO Jens Hecht.
The year 2018 had been the best year since the Tech Boom 2000 on the small German market for IPOs. Heavyweights such as the Siemens Medical Technology Division Healthineers, the Deutsche Bank fundraiser DWS and the brake manufacturer Knorr-Bremse achieved billions in initial listing. Many companies in this country shy away from initial public offerings and prefer to finance themselves through loans.