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IPOs are on track for a record year as companies cash in on sky-high stock prices


Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), July 21, 2021.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

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Initial public offerings have come roaring back, on track for a record year as companies race to go public in a stock market at all-time highs.

Proceeds from U.S. IPOs have reached $89 billion in 2021, a 232% jump from the same period last year, according to data from Renaissance Capital. For the year-to-date period, the market is already at a record level in terms of funds raised, and it is expected to surpass the full-year all-time high of $97 billion raised in 2000 amid the dot-com boom, according to Renaissance.

“The valuations companies can get in the IPO market are high, historically,” said Matthew Kennedy, senior IPO market strategist at Renaissance Capital. “We attribute much of it to a decades-long buildup of unicorns and VC funding.”

Companies from stay-at-home tech to health-care innovators to e-commerce players are taking advantage of a booming stock market that keeps refreshing its record on the back of optimism toward the economic reopening. The IPO boom also coincides with the rising force of retail investors who are eager to own a piece of their favorite companies.

A total of 250 IPOs have priced in 2021, up 191% from the same period last year and already beating 2020’s total number of IPOs at 218, according to Renaissance Capital.

At least nine IPOs this year saw their shares doubling from their offering prices. E-Home Household Service, a Chinese housekeeping and home appliance service company, has surged more than 300% since its market debut in May.

Biotech Verve Therapeutics, ZIM Integrated Shipping, an Israeli container shipping company, as well as dLocal, an online payments firm in emerging markets, are among the top-performing IPOs this year.

The rebound in traditional IPO activities came as the SPAC market cooled down amid heightened regulatory pressure. After a record first quarter, special purpose acquisition company issuance fell 87% in the second quarter as regulators ramped up crackdown efforts, according Barclays data.

– CNBC’s Gina Francolla and Nate Rattner contributed to this story.

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