Insight & Analysis

Press Release: The World Federation of Exchanges publishes first-half market highlights

Published: Sep 2020

27th August 2020 – The World Federation of Exchanges (“WFE”), the global industry group for exchanges and CCPs, today published its first half Market Highlights.

Newspaper press release

In June 2020 companies raised 31.38 billion USD through IPO, which is a nearly triple (294.1%) increase on May 2020. The June figure is among the highest capital amount raised through IPO in the last 6.5 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 (Nasdaq-US) which raised 2.2 billion USD in June 2020. Other large IPOs on Nasdaq were Warner Music Group (1.9 billion USD) and ZoomInfo Technologies (0.9 billion USD).

The APAC and EMEA regions also had some notable IPOs: Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing listed (the largest IPO this year at 4.5 billion USD) and NetEase Inc (3.1 billion USD), while LSE Group saw China Pacific Insurance Group (2 billion USD) and Italian filter maker GVS ( 0.6 billion USD) come to market.

Despite recording a decline in overall listings in H1 2020, the APAC region had the lion’s share of both global IPO listings (63.2%) and investment flows (52.4%). Shanghai Stock Exchange recorded the highest number of IPOs globally (74), followed by Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (59) and Shenzhen Stock Exchange (45).

Key Highlights


  • In Q2 2020, global market capitalisation rebounded after the sharp drop in the first quarter, adding 7.25 trillion USD in just one month (April).
  • However, global market capitalisation at the end of H1 2020 was down 5.1% when compared with H2 2019.
  • Compared to H2 2019, equity markets saw record-high levels of value traded (49.7%) and volumes (47.1%)
  • More than 12 trillion USD were traded globally over the course of Jun 2020.
  • Overall, the number of new listings through IPOs and investment flows through IPOs fell sharply by 36.5% and respectively by 42.7% when compared to H2 2019.

Exchange traded derivatives (ETDs)

  • Derivatives trading surged for almost all contract types, and in all regions. Futures contracts trading increased significantly more than options trading.
  • Overall, in H1 2020, exchange traded derivatives volumes were up 23.4% when compared with H2 2019, reaching a record 21.72 billion contracts traded.
  • In H1 2020, ETDs saw significant increases in volumes, mainly in stock index futures (76.2%) and single stock futures (55.2%), the former being driven by APAC region (142.9%) and, in particular, by the National Stock Exchange of India.

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