AFME Equity Primary Markets and Trading Report Q4 2020 | AFME

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Data Research
AFME Equity Primary Markets and Trading Report Q4 2020
01 Mar 2021
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Author Julio Suarez Director
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Key highlights:

  • Large increase in equity capital raising: 2020 saw a large annual increase of 51% in equity underwriting on European exchanges. Follow-on offerings rose 69% year-on-year (YoY) with the largest annual amount of proceeds since 2007. IPO issuance on European exchanges, however, totalled €18 bn in 2020— the lowest annual amount since 2012.
  • Completed Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) of European companies totalled €671.8bn in 2020 a 27% decrease from the amount completed in 2019 (€918.5bn).

The amount of announced M&A totalled €905.5bn in 2020 a 3% decrease from €929.5bn in 2019.


  • Average daily equity trading activity on European main markets and MTFs stood at €68.5bn in 2020, 16% above the average daily value observed in 2019 (€59.1bn).
  • Bid-ask spreads for selected European equity indices continued to decline during 2H 2020, following the market stress episode originated by the COVID-19 outbreak. However, liquidity conditions, as measured by bid-ask spreads, have not returned to pre-COVID levels.
  • Double Volume Cap (DVC) update: The number of instruments banned from dark trading has declined in the course of the year to 205 instruments suspended at the EU or trading venue level as of Dec-20 (from above 1,200 in Aug-18). Due to concerns about the temporary disruption of the ESMA IT systems following the end of the Brexit transition period, ESMA will not perform the monthly DVC publications for the months of January and February of 2021.



2020FY variation of European Equity activity EU27 member countries, UK and Switzerland