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European IPOs pick up as equity markets calm down

posted Nov 14, 2009, 1:30 PM by Yale ReiSoleil   [ updated Nov 14, 2009, 1:35 PM ]
By Daisy Ku and Tessa Walsh

LONDON (Reuters) - Initial public offerings in Europe are gaining momentum, with three major IPOs set to launch before year-end and about $10 billion that could be raised in the next six months as volatile equity markets calm down.

But Europe's slower economic recovery coupled with more cautious investors, means the region is still likely to lag behind Asia and the United States.

The euro area and the United Kingdom economies are set to shrink 3 to 4 percent in 2009, according to estimates from Morgan Stanley, while China is set to grow 9 percent, and India 6 percent.

At $741 million in the first three quarters, Europe's IPO volume was dwarfed by Asia's $35 billion and less than one-tenth of U.S. volumes, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Still, the gap is closing. In the first five weeks of this quarter, Europe hosted $4.1 billion of IPOs, compared with the United States's $5.4 billion and Asia's $8.1 billion

Polish utility PGE's $2.1 billion listing -- Europe's largest this year -- and insurer Delta Lloyd's $1.5 billion flotation this month provided a solid start for the market, after a drought of more than a year.

Read more at http://www.reuters.com/article/innovationNews/idUSTRE5AA1JR20091111