A very warm welcome to the Edison conference book for the Deutsches Eigenkapitalforum 2019.
Following a record year for IPOs in 2018, this year has been rather disappointing so far. Year-todate values are down by 40% in Europe compared to 2018. The picture is similar in Germany. Moreover, IPO performance is not very encouraging, with each of the four IPOs in Germany trading below issue price.
However, TeamViewer’s listing on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange provides one of the few bright spots in the IPO environment in the third quarter, putting Deutsche Börse first in Europe with regard to issue volume. From a German perspective, it is very pleasing that the domestic exchange can support large tech IPOs.
With a number of IPOs being cancelled or postponed, the market is already looking ahead to next year. At this point, 2020 could be a very successful year for new listings, with several landmark transactions in the pipeline like Continental Powertrain, Siemens Energy and Wintershall DEA.
Needless to say, all this depends on the global economic environment. Equity markets are clearly buoyed by politics at present. Looking at the factors driving markets and sentiment, it is striking that many are the same as last year. Brexit has not been resolved and trade disputes continue. Investors have been factoring a risk premium into asset prices for those political developments for more than a year.
Nonetheless, our strategist Alastair George argues in his recent report that we are seeing progress on both these questions and that we may be past the peak of political risk. The US election year is likely to be positive for reaching an accord in trade disputes. Brexit uncertainty is also likely to recede.
Alastair believes it is time to take a modestly more constructive view on equity markets and has therefore moved to a neutral view on global equities from a cautious outlook previously. However, this is not an ‘all clear’ for aggressive positioning. This poses a potential challenge, especially for small-cap stocks, which by nature can be considered more risky than large-caps.
The implication of this is clear – investors need to be selective and should look at each stock, its management and equity story closely before investing. At the same time, the managements of smalland mid-cap stocks need to be proactive in reaching out to the investment community, to both existing and potential shareholders. The Deutsches Eigenkapitalforum 2019 is an ideal forum, offering three intense days of company presentations, one-to-one meetings and networking opportunities.
The number of participating companies has again exceeded the record level of the previous year at more than 220. As in previous years, interest from issuers and investors outside Germany remains high.
At Edison, we strongly believe that regular dialogue between issuers and the investment community, together with the availability of accurate and up-to-date information about companies and their investment case, is crucial to facilitate liquid markets and shares trading at fair value.
The Eigenkapitalforum is a great opportunity to catch up with existing contacts and get to know potential new partners. It important to keep the dialogue going over the course of the year and we are delighted to support this. We are pleased to be a partner to Deutsche Börse for this year’s Eigenkapitalforum and hope that you all have interesting discussions and successful meetings over the next three days.
A few benefits of attending EKF