2020 - A year of resilience

London’s capital markets ecosystem showed its mettle during the pandemic. Public markets quickly supported businesses and institutions in raising funds to shore up balance sheets and continue to fund growth and innovation. 

  • 445 businesses returning to the market raising £40.8bn in follow-on capital (67% more than in 2019). 
  • Over £73bn was raised through COVID-19 response bonds, including social bonds from development banks across the world.
  • Through volatility and new trading records, our markets were orderly and stable. 
  • In March, 44.8mn trades executed on LSE Order Book, 74% higher than previous record in June 2016. IOB experienced similar records of US$12.5bn value traded in March with a daily value traded record of US$1bn (+104% YoY, +63% MoM), highest since April 2015. 
  • £9.2bn was raised through IPOs, 27% more than in 2019. 
  • £718bn was raised in fixed income transactions, 77% more than in 2019.
  • 44.8mn trades were executed on LSE Order Book in March, 74% higher than previous record.

As some talked of a green recovery, London continued to lead in Sustainable Finance in 2020

  • 20 issuers received the Green Economy Mark, bringing the total number of Green Economy Mark holders to 91 with a combined market capitalisation of £140bn.
  • £13bn raised on the Sustainable Bond Market from 21 issuers, including the first sovereign green and sustainability bonds from MENA (Egypt) and the Americas (Mexico).
  • 62 new ESG ETF listings, accounting for nearly half of all ETF listings.

The attractiveness of London for tech companies has been underlined by the scale and variety of tech IPOs in 2019 

  • We saw 8 tech IPOs across the year, raising £3.1bn and welcomed Europe’s largest E-commerce IPO to date from THG, which raised £1.9bn at a market capitalisation of £5.4bn.
  • 25% of all capital raised on London Stock Exchange in 2020 was from the Tech sector.

London gave a warm welcome to international businesses

  • 6/10 of our largest IPOs were international companies. 
  • We saw 3 Chinese listings via Shanghai London Stock Connect, and 72 sovereign bonds from 20 issuers. 
  • We supported cities and local governments to invest in smart and sustainable infrastructure, including Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Istanbul, City of Gothenburg and San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. 
  • We continued to support international trading and our International Order Book, which provides access to some of the world’s fastest growing markets, witnessed strong trading activity with its turnover growing by 17% year on year.

Through the lockdown we continued to innovate

  • We worked with fintech PrimaryBid to increase retail participation.
  • We launched LSEG Flow, an end-to-end automation tool to simplify the debt capital markets transaction execution process. 
  • We launched RFQ 2.0, an ETF trading protocol combining RFQ functionality with a simultaneous sweep of London Stock Exchange’s order book. 
  • We supported the digitisation of capital markets, launching Spark Live, our online events platform enabling issuers to host their corporate events and connect with investors.  
  • We engaged thousands of clients, issuers and partners through our own virtual events and webinars.  

2020 was a year of anniversaries 

London’s strength as an international finance centre has come to the fore in 2020. Our experience and capabilities have allowed us to be adaptable and innovative. 

We go into 2021 even stronger and more resilient ready to support you.


Numbers as at 17 December 2020

More recent

Going direct: a Wise decision

Not every listing on the public markets has the aim of raising fresh capital. For fast-growing international technology company Wise, its Direct Listing on the Main Market of London Stock Exchange provides a way to broaden its ownership while remaining focused on its mission. Co-founder and CEO Kristo Käärmann explains their novel thinking and approach.

Learn more
Growth in tech, sustainable finance and diverse boards define London’s first half.

The depth and level of support provided by London’s markets to the rapidly evolving capital needs of issuers and investors in the global economy was vividly underlined in a strong and active first half of 2021.

Learn more
Trustpilot: Denmark’s tech unicorn puts its trust in London

Founded in Denmark in 2007, Trustpilot has developed into a global review platform with a mission to create a universal symbol of trust. Joining the premium segment of London’s Main Market, with its high standards of regulation and corporate governance, was an obvious choice for the first Danish tech unicorn to list in London.

Learn more
Global exposure, best execution: why London is at the centre of global securities trading

Robert Barnes
Group Head of Securities Trading & CEO Turquoise Global Holdings


The world trades in London

In the time zone that is central to the global business day, London’s role in global finance has always been pivotal. And at London’s heart is London Stock Exchange, which for centuries has provided choice and liquidity for investors and traders

Learn more