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£38 billion raised in ‘follow-on’ issues as equity markets react to a tumultuous year

15 December 2020

  • This year 295 secondary offerings raised £38 billion to 4 December 2020 versus £22 billion in 2019;
  • There were 212 secondary offerings for the same period (1 Jan 2019 – 4 Dec 2019)

New research from Deloitte suggests that UK capital markets have focused on ‘follow-on’ issues, raising additional equity finance from investors or selling existing shares in listed companies, amounting to £38 billion so far this year. Corporates have needed to shore up balance sheets to weather the COVID-19 storm, while conditions to launch IPOs have remained difficult for a significant part of the year.

Follow-on activity of £18.5 billion in the second quarter of 2020 alone was around 75%-80% of the previous two full years and, as of 4 December, YTD 2020 has seen roughly 60% greater follow-on deal value than each of 2018 and 2019.

Chris Nicholls, Head of Equity and PLC Advisory and partner at Deloitte, said: “Equity markets tend to look forward and the speed of the ‘snap back’ has come as a pleasant surprise. The second quarter of this year saw a huge volume of issuance as regulators were ready to support companies in raising large amounts of equity. There was also an extremely resilient tech rally, particularly in the US.”

Following the US Election and positive news on vaccine development and rollout, equity funds have welcomed record inflows. The FTSE 100 had its strongest November in 30 years (up 12.4%) and, as of 4 December 2020, the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ were up 14.5% and 38.9% since the start of 2020.

The VIX Index, a measure of market volatility, has fallen significantly from its March high of 82.7. However as at 4 December the VIX remains high at 20.8 in comparison to the 2019 average of 15.4.

Nicholls concluded: “Global equity markets have, in general, continued a strong recovery from the major shocks in the first quarter. Volatility has reduced considerably from March and the bears are mostly quiet at the moment.

“The forthcoming earnings season is likely to be central to sentiment, and, in particular, the level of confidence with which companies can guide expectations for the coming year."


Notes to editors

About the report
Deloitte’s latest Equity Capital Markets update contains commentary on: recent UK stock market performance in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic; levels of equity market issuance and macroeconomic considerations; and current hot topics in ECM.

About Deloitte
In this press release references to “Deloitte” are references to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”) a UK private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity.

Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

Deloitte LLP is a subsidiary of Deloitte NSE LLP, which is a member firm of DTTL, and is among the UK's leading professional services firms.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

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