Flotations set swift record

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The Independent Online
A RECORD pounds 5.2bn has been raised by UK companies floating on the Stock Exchange in the first four months of this year, writes John Willcock. Only pounds 5.1bn was raised by flotations in the whole of 1993.

The number of floats in the first third of 1994, at 84, also exceeded the total for the whole of 1992 or the first half of last year, testifying to the pick-up in corporate activity.

'This record level is achieved without the benefit of the big government privatisations that boosted figures in the late Eighties', said Neil Austin, head of new issues at KPMG, which produced the figures.

'The best year was 1986 when pounds 8.9bn was raised, but that included the massive privatisation issues of British Gas ( pounds 5.6bn) and TSB ( pounds 1.5bn).'

The Unlisted Securities Market is now far less significant in equity fund raising. In the first four months of 1994 just five new companies went on the USM, raising pounds 1.4m. This compares with the 1986 performance, when 91 companies floated on the USM, raising pounds 300m.