This edition of the Bermuda Public Companies Update summarises significant transactions involving Bermuda companies on the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq in the second half of 2021.

Global market update

Equities continued to rally in the second half of 2021, wrapping up yet another banner year of positive returns for investors. The benchmark S&P 500 index rose 26.89% which marks its third straight yearly gain. More companies went public in 2021 than ever before (>1,800 globally) and the overall value of mergers and acquisitions hit a record-setting US$5.8 trillion, according to Refinitiv. This historic year in dealmaking also delivered a spike in “mega-deals” exceeding US$5 billion in value.

Covid-19 and the emergence of Omicron remained a strong headwind in late November as the likelihood of additional restrictions loomed. However, markets recovered rapidly as data from South Africa and the UK pointed to lower risk of severe disease. Companies continued to struggle with supply chain disruptions as the variant surged across the globe. Rising inflation added uncertainty to the mix amidst the prospect of tighter central bank policies. Despite these ongoing and anticipated pressures, some expect the markets in 2022 to show even stronger gains.

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