Relax the rules to kickstart the stalled IPO market


Over the past 10 years the number of initial public offerings in the US, and the total amount of equity raised by them, are way down on historical averages. If these had held there would have been more than 3,000 new public companies in the past decade. Instead, we have had fewer than half the number of IPOs. Against that, private companies in the US, including the likes of Lyft and SpaceX, are raising a record amount of equity capital in private markets. Private companies raised almost $120bn through private offerings in 2016, according to the Committee on Capital Markets Regulation, a policy group. Last year US IPOs raised $24bn in equity, compared with a historical average of nearly $60bn.

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