September 23, 2021

The deal boom isn’t just happening in the United States

As the stock market soars to new heights, companies have been racing to issue shares, leveraging the enthusiasm to generate cash for their businesses.

But the game isn’t just being played on Wall Street. What’s happening: This has been a huge week for initial public offerings in India, which has been churning out billion-dollar startups. Digital payments firm Paytm is planning to raise as much as 166 billion rupees ($2.2 billion) in an initial public offering in Mumbai, according to documents filed on Friday. The IPO, which is set to be a record tech listing for the country, would value Paytm at $25 billion, according to Reuters.

The news comes just two days after food delivery giant Zomato began raising $1.3 billion from its share sale in Mumbai, my CNN Business colleague Diksha Madhok reports. It was the country’s first tech unicorn to go public. Step back: 2021 has produced the best start to the year ever for initial public offerings, according to data from Dealogic. Globally, there have been 1,522 deals worth almost $350 billion. Stock issuers from the United States raised $213 billion on global markets during the first half of 2021. That was up 8% compared with levels seen a year ago, per data from Refinitiv.

But the rush to tap markets isn’t just benefiting American companies, with US firms accounting for a smaller share of global stock issuance than in 2020. A global phenomenon: Stock offerings from issuers in the Asia-Pacific region hit a record $253 billion during the first half of 2021, an 81% increase compared to 2020, according to Refinitiv. Plenty of the action is still passing through the United States. Chinese ride hailing giant Didi, for example, opted to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange. But the flurry of listings in Mumbai could encourage more of the country’s unicorns to consider the option. Walmart-owned Flipkart, which is the only Indian tech unicorn to have been acquired at a valuation of more than $1 billion, is also said to be considering a public offering. And as China exerts more control over listings of domestic companies, Shanghai and Hong Kong could see an uptick in deals, too.