Analysis: Twitter gives NYSE momentum in IPO battle versus Nasdaq

Sat Nov 9, 2013 7:02am EST
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By John McCrank

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Twitter Inc's successful debut on the New York Stock Exchange could help the Big Board win a title it has never held before: the No.1 U.S. listing venue for technology companies.

Nasdaq OMX Group had easily scored the most tech initial public offerings every year from 1999 until last year, when NYSE Euronext pulled even, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Including Twitter this week, 19 tech companies have chosen to go public on the NYSE in 2013, while Nasdaq has won only 14 listings so far this year. Tech IPO proceeds also favor the NYSE over Nasdaq, at $4.6 billion to $1.9 billion, according to Thomson Reuters data.

The reversal is attributed partly to Nasdaq's high-profile bungling of Facebook Inc's debut last year, and partly to changes the NYSE made to its listing standards in 2008 to make it easier for smaller, growing companies to qualify.

"I wouldn't even say they won Twitter, I'd say we lost it," said Bruce Aust, who has headed Nasdaq's listings business for the past decade.

He said that since 2008, when the NYSE changed its listings rules and lowered requirements for market capitalization and income limits, every deal has become competitive.

"They did that because they realized that once a company lists on Nasdaq, they really stay with us," said Aust.

Facebook's $16 billion IPO was highly anticipated but a glitch in Nasdaq's fully electronic system set off a series of events that some market makers said prevented them from knowing their positions in the stock - and led to them to lose $500 million collectively.   Continued...

The Twitter Inc. logo is displayed on screens prior to its IPO on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, November 7, 2013. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson