Global market update
The first half of 2021 was an extremely positive one for the stock markets. Few of us could have imagined after the bleak outlook of March 2020 that North American markets would climb so steeply. All major indexes rose by double digits. The S&P 500 led the way, with a year-over-year advance of 14.4% at close of trading on 30 June. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 12.7% while the Nasdaq Composite Index was up 12.6%.
The sharp rebound was driven by governments increasing policy support, along with rising vaccination rates that have allowed some countries to reduce Covid-19 restrictions. The robust growth continued despite a temporary setback in April and May from the third wave of Covid-19 when economies started to lock down. According to research from the World Bank, the global economy is set to expand by 5.6% in 2021 – its strongest post-recession pace in 80 years.
Bermuda companies update
Despite the challenges of the ongoing pandemic, M&A activity continued throughout the first half of 2021. February saw the close of Sirius In ternational Insurance Group’s US$788 million merger with Third Point Reinsurance and the launch of Bermuda-based company SiriusPoint Ltd. (NYSE:SPNT). The new global company is a Class 4 (re)insurer regulated by the Bermuda Monetary Authority.
We have seen increased restructuring activity over the past six months, as a tumultuous period in the energy sector pushed many offshore drillers toward bankruptcy. Significant filings included Bermuda exempted companies Seadrill Limited and Seadrill Partners LLC. Another noteworthy example was Valaris Limited (NYSE:VAL), which emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy to form a newly incorporated Bermuda company which began trading on May 3. We discuss the Valaris restructuring in more detail on page 2.
The SPAC boom showed no sign of slowing through the first quarter of 2021 as investors looked toward offshore jurisdictions for incorporation and SPAC-related transactions. Notably, Paysafe Group Holdings Limited combined with SPAC Foley Trasimene Acquisition Corp. II in a r everse merger transaction with an enterprise value for Paysafe of approximately US$9 billion. The combined company, a leading specialized payments platform, now operates as Paysafe Limited (NYSE:PSFE).
The capital markets were also active in the first half of the year. Over US$16 billion was raised by Bermuda companies on the NYSE and Nasdaq in a variety of sizable transactions including:
To continue reading full articles in PDF format:
Bermuda Public Companies Update