WFE data shows a major reversal in global market capitalisation in 2023

London, 8 March 2024 – New data published by the World Federation of Exchanges (the WFE), the global industry group for exchanges and central clearing counterparties, shows a strong recovery in global market capitalisation in 2023. The APAC region saw the largest numbers of IPOs and recorded its maximum number of non-IPO listings, whilst the amount of capital raised through IPOs only increased (and quite significantly) in the US. 

Key highlights:

•    Global equity market capitalisation in 2023 increased by 13% YoY, with all regions going up. Over USD 13 trillion were added to stock markets worldwide.

•    The number of IPOs globally was at its lowest in the last three years, with 1,217 IPOs as a total across all regions.

•    APAC markets opened their doors to 875 IPOs generating USD 75.35 billion, whilst American markets welcomed 139 IPOs generating USD 17.57 billion, and EMEA markets hosted 203 IPOs raising USD 18.03 billion.

•    The capital raised through IPOs fell sharply compared to 2022 (-59.3%). While APAC and EMEA regions declined -43.3% and -86.1%, respectively, the Americas experienced a significant increase (71.3%). 

•    Trading value and volumes in equity markets declined 10.6% and 3.4%, respectively. All regions recorded their lowest annual trading value in the last three years. 

•    Globally, the average trade size in cash equities was also at its lowest level in the last three years (at USD 2,776.45 /trade globally). In the Americas region, however, the average increased 2.1% with respect to 2022. 

•    The number of exchange-traded derivatives contracts, including both options and futures, reached their highest level in the last three years, amounting to 104.06 billion for options and 30.33 billion for futures (134.40 billion derivatives contracts traded), a 58.9% increase compared to 2022. 

•    While the number of listed exchange-traded funds (ETFs) increased (+6.4%) when compared to 2022, the ETF value traded declined (-14.4%).

In 2023 we saw a significant recovery in market capitalisation, though a weaker recovery in EMEA than the Americas and APAC. This growth can largely be attributed to the improvement in the fundamentals of listed companies, supported by some new listings and IPOs. The easing of economic tensions has increased valuations as investors gain confidence in the prospects of businesses and potential dividends.

Fewer companies came to the market, and those that did list, raised less capital. In 2022 we saw a large decrease in IPOs across the globe. This trend continued in 2023, as did the amount of capital raised in all geographies save for the US, which saw a dramatic reversal compared to the previous year. This is reflective of the general hesitancy of businesses to list in the current environment, delaying growth plans or seeking alternative ways to raise capital. 

The lower average trade size in all regions, save for the Americas, could be indicative of either an increased level of retail investors participating in public markets, or institutional investors trading less, suggesting the balance between retail and institutional investment may be changing.


Looking ahead, we expect global market capitalisation to continue its growth trajectory. There is still further recovery needed to offset the USD 25 trillion that was wiped off global stock markets in 2022. We also anticipate that the US will continue to be an attractive place for IPOs over the next year, but eyes will be on APAC to determine whether increased and sustained growth in the region can keep pace, or even outpace, the world’s most preeminent market. 

Globally, expected reductions in interest rates will facilitate credit and boost demand, stimulating business growth and increasing valuations. As rate cuts are broadly expected, a prolonged hold at current levels or a rise, will have a negative impact on the performance of stock markets. 

There are a number of global issues that could be unsettling for markets in the near term, for example, an increase in tensions in the Gaza and Ukraine conflicts could lead to supply chain problems or volatility in energy prices that could impact central banks’ efforts to control inflation. Several elections expected this year can also bring uncertainty to the markets. The US election will be particularly influential in terms of broader political stability. Given it is scheduled for November, in theory, any impact could be deferred to 2025, but if a clear forerunner emerges earlier, we could see investors begin to position themselves differently in H2 2024. 

Dr Pedro Gurrola-Perez, Head of Research at the WFE, said: “Economic recovery is happening at different speeds geographically, so we may see a rebalance in the size and scale of markets over the course of the year, particularly looking at the growth of Asian markets. Although we anticipate further recovery in the near term and expect market capitalisation to continue its rising trend, the recovery is tied to geopolitical and economic factors, so any further deterioration of current conditions or increased levels of uncertainty may create significant headwinds for markets.”

Nandini Sukumar, Chief Executive Officer at the WFE, said: “A sound financial ecosystem relies on the strength and balance of both private and public markets. Without efficient public markets, growth is impeded, returns aren’t realised, and all capital market participants suffer. Exchanges, regulators and the buy side need to act as a community to reverse the current trends we are seeing in trading and listing activity. Lessons should be learnt, from a policy perspective, about what actions are working to increase trading and listings numbers in specific markets. Failing to adapt during this important period of recovery will have a long-term impact on a market’s competitiveness.”

You can download the full report here.

For more information, please contact:

Cally Billimore               

Communications Manager        

 +44 7391 204 007

[email protected]

Hastings Tarrant           

Edelman Smithfield (Financial PR)   

[email protected]

 +44 7813 407 665

About the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE):

Established in 1961, the WFE is the global industry association for exchanges and clearing houses. Headquartered in London, it represents over 250 market infrastructure providers, including standalone CCPs that are not part of exchange groups. Of our members, 34% are in Asia-Pacific, 45% in EMEA and 21% in the Americas. WFE’s 90 member CCPs and clearing services collectively ensure that risk takers post some $1.3 trillion (equivalent) of resources to back their positions, in the form of initial margin and default fund requirements. WFE exchanges, together with other exchanges feeding into our database, are home to over 50,000 listed companies, and the market capitalisation of these entities is over $100 trillion; around $140 trillion (EOB) in trading annually passes through WFE members (at end 2022).

The WFE is the definitive source for exchange-traded statistics and publishes over 350 market data indicators. Its free statistics database stretches back more than 40 years and provides information and insight into developments on global exchanges. The WFE works with standard-setters, policy makers, regulators and government organisations around the world to support and promote the development of fair, transparent, stable and efficient markets. The WFE shares regulatory authorities’ goals of ensuring the safety and soundness of the global financial system.

With extensive experience of developing and enforcing high standards of conduct, the WFE and its members support an orderly, secure, fair and transparent environment for investors; for companies that raise capital; and for all who deal with financial risk. We seek outcomes that maximise the common good, consumer confidence and economic growth. And we engage with policy makers and regulators in an open, collaborative way, reflecting the central, public role that exchanges and CCPs play in a globally integrated financial system.


Twitter: @TheWFE

Tags: market data

For more information, please contact:

Cally Billimore
Manager, Communications
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +44 7391 204 007
Twitter: @TheWFE