Sunday, July 13, 2008

IPOs in Deep Freeze

"Despite the hunger for capital by startup firms, the dicey stock market is scaring them away. The market for initial public offerings, or IPOs, is nearly frozen, experts say, and won't thaw again until the stock market stops its downward spiral. "Folks are scared because there is so much uncertainty in the broader economic scene," says Tim Walker, an IPO watcher at Hoover's.
So far in 2008, there have been 37 IPOs, off 72.4% from this point last year, according to
Unfortunately, experts don't see the IPO market picking up any time soon. "I don't see much activity at all taking place in the third quarter," says Mark Hantho, head of equity capital markets at Deutsche Bank (DB). Walker says maybe early 2009 could see an uptick in IPO activity. In late June, the National Venture Capital Assn. polled its members, asking when they saw the IPO window reopening. Only 17% said IPOs should revive by the end of 2008, while 43% are prepared to wait a year, and 32% said one to two years. "

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