Canada IPO Market Posts Strong 2013; Outlook This Year Less Certain

Originally posted in the Wall Street Journal – January 2, 2014 bBen Dummett

Canada’s market for initial public offerings was strong in 2013, at least by one measure, but the outlook for this year is difficult to predict amid the prospect of rising interest rates and continued uncertainty over commodity prices.

Canadian stock exchanges attracted six new IPOs just in the fourth quarter, raising total proceeds of 582.6 million Canadian dollars ($547.2 million), falling well short of the year-ago quarterly figures, according to a PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP report. The total number of IPOs for all of 2013 was also down. But proceeds jumped 50% to C$2.7 billion last year from C$1.8 billion in 2012.

“The IPO market in 2013 ended up exceeding our expectations,” Dean Braunsteiner, PwC national IPO leader, said in a statement.

The divergence between the number of offerings and proceeds raised underscores appetite in 2013 for so-called safe-haven IPOs and aversion to mining issues. It also highlights some of the risk the IPO market faces this year.

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