CEO letter - August 2020

Published by: Nandini Sukumar, CEO, The WFE Aug 2020

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to the August edition of Focus. This year is flying by even as life shows little sign of a return to normal.

Here at the WFE we continue to work remotely and have settled into a work from home rhythm that covers the diversity of member time zones even as we hope to see them all, and each other, soon. It’s good to be busy in a crisis and the WFE remains very active and very focused on supporting our members and stakeholders through the challenge that this global health crisis has triggered for individuals, for economies and for governments. We are grateful to those who work on the frontline.

In August we turn our thoughts to what the next year will look like, as we mark a six-month anniversary of sorts for the pandemic. I’ve asked our Chairman, Dr Urs Rüegsegger, to talk to us about what’s next for the industry and why we should remain optimistic and focused on the recovery that will come.

We welcome Paul Leder of Miller & Chevalier, a distinguished regulator and lawyer, who writes of the new risks posed by politics to regulatory and enforcement cooperation. This is a particularly pertinent subject for us at the WFE and as a global industry. Markets are not political organisations, but our work to keep investors safe and markets clean is always sensitive to such factors.

Vikram Limaye, CEO of the National Stock Exchange of India and the WFE’s Working Committee Chairman, writes eloquently of how ESG stewardship will help India Inc. find a balance between profits and purpose. Exchanges championed ESG long before it became mainstream and we remain committed to maintaining our leadership in the debate.

Greg Wojciechowski, President and CEO of the Bermuda Stock Exchange tells us why the exchange is deemed an essential financial service for market participants amid the global pandemic, and what the BSX did to support their market in the storm.

Continuing this universal theme, halfway across the world, Moremi Marwa, Chief Executive Officer of the the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange PLC writes about Tanzania’s experience. 

And staying with the theme of growth, James Martin, CEO, AIFC Business Connect, tells us about how they are empowering Kazakh small- and medium-sized businesses as part of the country’s ambitious plans to become one of the top 30 developed countries in the world by 2050.

 The WFE published first-half Market Highlights earlier this week, so do please take a look as the data is both fascinating and revealing. While the second quarter of 2020 saw many indicators quickly moving towards their pre-pandemic levels, especially in June, the overall results still give us an indication of the unprecedented time we are living through.

In June 2020 companies raised US$ 31.38 billion through IPOs, which is a nearly threefold (294.1%) increase on May 2020. The June figure is among the highest capital amount raised through IPO in the last 6 ½ years, even while in the first half overall, initial public offerings fell both year on year and relative to the second half of 2019.

While IPO listings were down in the Americas region, investment flows were up thanks to some notable IPOs. The largest IPO in the region this year was Royal Pharma which raised US$ 2.2 billion in June 2020. Other large IPOs were Warner Music Group (US$ 1.9 billion) and ZoomInfo Technologies (US$ 0.9 billion). The APAC and EMEA regions also had some notable IPOs: Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing listed JD.com (the largest IPO this year at US$ 4.5 billion) and NetEase Inc (US$ 3.1 billion) , while LSE Group saw China Pacific Insurance Group (US$ 2 billion) and Italian filter maker GVS (US$ 0.6 billion) come to market.

We continue to work to sustain local economies through the pandemic and afterwards, ensuring markets remained resilient, trusted, and efficient. Our role in the economic recovery will be fundamental.

See you in September.

Nandini Sukumar
Chief Executive Officer
The WFE