2021 - A year of opportunity

Whilst 2020 was a year of resilience, 2021 was a year of opportunity.

The landscape changed and the markets were buoyant. We were at the heart of the action - helping our clients uncover new opportunities and growth; supporting issuers in raising capital to fund innovation and sustainability initiatives and supporting our trading clients in tapping into global liquidity.

This year, we brought our FX, fixed income, and equities businesses together to form LSEG’s Capital Markets division, a multi-asset, diversified, global financial markets infrastructure.

A record year for IPOs and opportunities

In a record year for IPOs, the London Stock Exchange was the largest centre for IPOs globally outside of US and Greater China. Over 120 inspiring companies chose to list on the London Stock Exchange, raising £16.8bn the strongest year for IPO capital raising since 2007 and the highest number of IPOs since 2014. We welcomed female-led businesses, innovative healthcare enterprises and high-growth tech companies to our markets.

We saw great momentum in tech, with companies from the UK and around the world choosing to list in London including Trustpilot, Darktrace, Wise and Tinybuild. Together, tech businesses accounted for nearly 40% of total IPO proceeds. We now have more tech & consumer internet companies in the FTSE 350 than we’ve had at any point since the year 2000. Wise joined our market in July as the largest tech listing ever (by market cap) and the biggest direct listing on the London Stock Exchange to date.

The funds sector saw new listings in the digital infrastructure, space-tech, and clean hydrogen sectors and over 20% of all equity capital raised in 2021 was by listed investment funds.

We are delighted to support issuers in raising capital and bringing their strategic ambitions to life.

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2021 was also pivotal for regulatory reform in capital markets, most notably with the Hill and Khalifa reviews. In both cases, the London Stock Exchange played a key role in engaging with the reform to help shape the change agenda.

Fixed Income lead the way in sustainability and sovereign bonds 

Our fixed income markets continued to support international issuers, such as sovereigns, municipalities, supranationals, corporates and banks, to meet their funding needs in 2021. The Main Market and International Securities Market supported over 1800 transactions which raised over £500bn. 

Over 100 bonds were admitted to the Sustainable Bond Market (SBM) this year, raising over £50bn. SBM has now supported issuers raise more than £100bn through active bonds on the market. Significant issuances included the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the International Finance Corporation, and debut sovereign green bond transactions from the UK, Uzbekistan, Benin and the Republic of Korea.

LSEG issued its largest bond to date and saw the first use of digitisation in syndicated bond markets in April when our SparkLive and Flow platforms were utilised to conduct an investor roadshow and negotiate bond documents as part of a $7bn multi-currency, multi-tranche syndicated issuance.

LSEG also became a founding member of the High-Level Working Group on green sukuk at COP-26 through the support London’s markets provided transactions like the UK government’s second sovereign sukuk and Saudi Aramco’s debut sukuk raising $6bn, the largest ever corporate sukuk.

COP26 marked a year of firsts 

The growing need for sustainable finance came under the spotlight at COP26, as the world turned its attention to tackling the climate crisis. We launched our Climate Transition Offering, designed to help issuers understand their progress on climate reporting and transition planning, discover areas for improvement, and ultimately deliver credible transition plans.

At COP26 we also announced the development of our Voluntary Carbon Markets solution, geared at accelerating the availability of financing for projects which will support the low-carbon transition. This will enable companies and investors to finance projects to offset unavoidable carbon emissions on their path to net zero.

The green economy has also seen unprecedented growth and innovation. Our markets have helped finance the development of sustainable battery solutions, the advancement of the circular economy and sustainable fuel sources such as clean hydrogen.

Over 110 companies were recognised by the Green Economy Mark with a combined market cap of over £160bn.

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A year of strong partnerships and innovation in Securities Trading

In 2021, we created a single, unified Securities Trading team across all venues, providing streamlined access to London Stock Exchange, Turquoise and Turquoise Europe. We continued to offer a greater number of attractive opportunities for investors in Asia and are proud to have 20 Asian member firms on London Stock Exchange and Turquoise supporting trading access to London. We saw continued growth of our International Order Book with Korea, India and Kazakhstan all helping to drive growth in the order-book turnover.

Trading in South Korean Depository Receipts (DRs) grew by 21% YoY (as of November 2021), and Kazakh DRs more than doubled compared to the same period in 2020 (as of November 2021). Our team deployed a novel extended auction process to enable the Wise direct listing.

Turquoise expanded its service in October to include a greater number of US securities. Listening to our clients, we designed a model to serve the rising demand from APAC brokers that wish to trade US equities before the US market open, during UK trading hours with fungible DTC settlement. This allows members, through one connection, to trade US stocks alongside UK, Swiss and European securities. 

Turquoise Plato®, our industry leading midpoint and electronic block trading service, celebrated its 5-year anniversary with clients matching €1.2 trillion since the September 2016 cooperation agreement with Plato Partnership.

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Supporting the digitisation of Capital Markets

As the world continued to adapt to new working conditions, SparkLive helped issuers to connect with investors virtually across the globe. The platform’s capabilities were expanded in 2021, with issuers using SparkLive to support capital raising by conducting virtual roadshows.

In December, we announced an expansion of our digital offering for issuers and public and private companies with an investment in OpenExchange Inc. This is investment will support an extension of our partnership with the company that has been powering SparkLive, enabling issuers and investors to communicate globally in a secure, digital environment.

Continued growth in Exchange Traded Products

We continued to support growth in the ETP market. 310 new ETPs have listed in London in 2021, compared to 196 ETPs listed during 2020. On 3 February 2021 trading in ETPs accounted for 23% of the total London Stock Exchange orderbook. In line with the sustainability surge, we reported almost £30m average daily turnover for 2021 to date in ESG ETFs, up 150% year-on-year. There are almost 250 ETFs with ESG filters listed in London and we welcomed over 80 new ESG ETFs in 2021, representing almost half of all the ETFs listed during the year.

We saw 25% (>1,638 instrument registrations) growth YoY in instrument registrations, and we continued to roll out our ETP RFQ 2.0, which has had turnover of £800m since launch in December 2020, with over 1000 instruments traded using the functionality.

Shaping the future of the FX community

The FX business expanded and innovated this year, increasing volumes and adding 200+ customers to its portfolio. We launched new capabilities in FXall and Matching, helping our customers to trade more efficiently, confidently, and profitably and we enhanced liquidity in the interdealer FX Swap market by automating trade execution. The business was recognised as ‘Best Broker for Forwards/Swaps’ in the 2021 FX Markets Best Banks Awards.

We strengthened our commitment to deepen financial markets in Indonesia and the Asia Pacific region by launching our leading global electronic trading Matching service in Indonesia. The launch represented Indonesia’s first interbank electronic marketplace for the trading of Rupiah.

In May, we announced the further investment to accelerate our development of future capabilities and we launched Workspace for FX Trading in November, which will enable our 16,000-user community to experience a powerful next-generation customisable workflow tool. We also improved transparency with a new generation of trade analytics and continue to advocate best practices across the industry, following the update to the FX Global Code in July.

A year to be proud of

2021 has demonstrated the vital role LSEG’s deep, liquid capital markets have played in supporting innovation, growth, and the transition to a zero-carbon economy. The new-look capital markets division demonstrated the benefits to our customers of a diversified approach and we are confident in our ability to support them further in 2022 and beyond.

Note: 2021 data as of 23 December 2021.

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