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London Stock Exchange says 2020 saw most money raised for a decade


London Stock Exchange PLC (LON:LSE) said listed firms raised the most money in more than a decade over the past year as they battled the impact of coronavirus.

The pandemic highlighted the importance of access to liquidity and the ability for firms to raise equity capital efficiently, the Exchange added, which is facing increasing competition from Europe.

In January, trading in Amsterdam in euro-denominated shares outstripped the UK for the first time.

The exchange added post-Brexit it is still lobbying for a coherent financial structure between Britain and the EU to be established to avoid fragmentation of systems designed to make ‘the financial markets efficient, stable and safe’.

In 2020, 526 businesses raised £34.4bn in follow-on capital,or 113% more than in 2019 with AIM also seeing strong activity.

New listings were also healthy, it added, with £9.2bn was raised through IPOs, up 27% from 2019 while fixed income raises generated over £718bn up 77% 2019 of which £75bn came from Covid-19 response bonds.

Since the year-end, LSE has completed the acquisition for data and indices specialist Refinitiv for US$27bn which will completely re-shape the business and make capital markets far less important.

David Schwimmer, chief executive, said the Refinitiv deal was an “important milestone”, and gives the business a substantial presence in North America, Europe, Asia and the emerging markets.

Total revenue in 2020 increased by 3% to £2.12bn with clearing activities seeing a 7% jump and FTSE Russell 3% higher. On an underlying basis, capital markets revenue rose by 8%.

 Pre-tax profits rose by 5% to £685mln with the full-year dividend rising by 7% to 75p.

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