This increased issuing activity reflects, on the one hand, resurging investor demand for risk-bearing investments and on the other, a need in financial institutions and (non-financial) corporations to bolster their balance sheets after the erosion sustained during the crisis. Financial institutions that had sought support from the State in the aftermath of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, repaid (part of) that support. Together Aegon, SNS Reaal and ING issued EUR 8.3 billion worth of equities.
Where corporations had increasingly borrowed funds to increase profits through leverage, during the past half year they issued equities to push down their debt positions (TomTom, Reed Elsevier, Wavin, Heijmans). Others issued equities to fund expansion (Corio, Crucell, VastNed Retail, SBM Offshore). However, issuance was still well below levels seen in the early 2000s. At the time, annual equity issues totalling over EUR 10 billion were made, primarily to fund information technology-related investments.