Companies raised a record $12.1tn in 2021 by selling stock, issuing debt and inking new loans, as a torrent of central bank stimulus and the rapid recovery from the pandemic propelled global markets.
With a few days left in the year, the cash haul is already up almost 17 per cent from 2020, itself a historic year, and almost a quarter above the take in 2019 before the coronavirus crisis, according to Financial Times calculations based on Refinitiv data.
The ferocious pace of fundraising underscores just how easy financial conditions are in many parts of the world, most notably the US, where more than $5tn was raised.
“It’s been a really blockbuster year,” said Chris Blum, a BNP Paribas banker who helps finance leveraged buyouts. “We anticipate it will continue into next year. Every year you kinda think markets will go down from this frantic pace but it will still be robust.”
Three more stories in the news
1. Negative views of auditing harm recruiting: PwC Kevin Ellis, the UK chair of PwC, told the FT that criticism of the industry by politicians and regulators was harming the profession and risked making it more difficult to attract recruits.
2. Turkish tech suffers brain drain Remote working has offered opportunities for tech workers such as Batikan Erdogan, who are seeking to earn foreign currency without moving abroad — but it is driving a virtual brain drain in Turkey that has been accelerated by coronavirus and the country’s economic woes.
3. Security law crimps Hong Kong civil society Once a boisterous mix of interest groups, unions and more sober professional bodies, more than 50 Hong Kong organisations have announced their closure since the introduction of a national security law in June 2020. Many are being replaced by bodies with strong government ties.
US health officials have halved the recommended isolation period for people who have Covid-19 to five days from 10, as parts of the country struggle with severe staff shortages brought on by Omicron.
France will require working from home for all eligible employees for at least three days a week and ban large indoor gatherings as it seeks to curb a wave of infections.
Opinion: Alongside the vaccine rollout, the world has largely controlled the virus with restrictions on behaviour, though not always the right ones, writes Ravi Gurumurthy of Nesta, the innovation foundation.
Boris Johnson has opted against new restrictions in England before New Year’s Eve despite the rising number of cases over the Christmas weekend.
What else we’re reading
Apple Watch’s failure to integrate The challenge of integrating technology into healthcare is partly why the Apple Watch, which launched in 2015 and is worn on the wrists of more than 100m people, has largely failed to fulfil its promise that “the future of health is on your wrist”.
Inflation threatens eurozone bounceback The eurozone’s economic recovery risks being undermined if high inflation erodes consumers’ disposable income and forces the European Central Bank to withdraw its stimulus more quickly than planned, according to an FT poll of economists.
Germany’s high tech Lars Müller wants to create the Starbucks of cannabis: a chain of dispensaries offering the full array of marijuana-related products from tinctures to flowers and edible gummies. It is an industry experiencing a high of epic proportions.
Most read Opinion article of the year
The Omicron paradox is starting to reveal itself, Anjana Ahuja wrote earlier this month. While vaccine-induced antibodies can blunt the variant’s onslaught, transmissibility remains alarming.